Ranking the Royals

 

These are the Top 300 Kansas City Royals Players ranked in descending order. Each player's ranking is based on the Modified Production Index Formula (MPIF). Position players and pitchers, respectively, have a formula that is used to rank their overall contribution to the Kansas City Baseball Franchise in their Royals' career. The position player and pitching formula are located HERE.

 

 

RANK #300 – JIM YORK (#40) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1970-1971)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 362.04
50th Royals Player in Franchise History

York was selected in the 16th round of the free-agent draft in 1969. He made his major league debut with the Kansas City Royals on September 21, 1970, becoming the first franchise player originally signed by the Royals in their first draft to actually play. By 1971, he was a major part of the bullpen, appearing in 53 games and posting a 2.89 ERA. On July 24, 1971, he replaced the starting pitcher in the second inning and went on to pitch eight scoreless innings with 8 strikeouts. He played for two seasons with 109 strikeouts in just over 100 innings pitched. He was eventually traded, along with Lance Clemons, to the Houston Astros for first baseman John Mayberry.

RANK #299 – LYNN JONES (#35) – Utility Outfield (1984-1986)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 365.48
208th Royals Player in Franchise History

Lynn Jones signed as a free agent to the Kansas City Royals in 1983 after playing for the Detroit Tigers. Jones only played a limited number of games in 1984 due to injury, but hit a very respectable .301 batting average. In 1985, Jones made 110 appearances, primarily as defensive relief throughout the outfield. His best game came in a 9-8 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on May 8, 1985 when, starting in right field, Jones wend 3-4 with a double and four RBIs. Lynn made postseason appearances in both 1984 and 1985 for the Royals. In Game 4 of the 1985 World Series, Jones had a double, as a pinch hitter, batting for pitcher Joe Beckwith. In 1986, Jones only had 47 at bats in 67 appearances. He was released at the end of the 1986 season having hit a .228 batting average in 224 appearances for the Kansas City Royals.

RANK #298 – MARK HUISMANN (#38) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1983-1986)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 373.44
198th Royals Player in Franchise History

Mark Huismann was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Kansas City Royals in 1980. He made his major league debut for the Royals on August 16, 1983. For his first two season, he bounced back and forth from Kansas City and AAA Omaha. Huismann pitched in relief in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers in 1984. By 1985, he spent the vast majority of the season at AAA Omaha and was only called up in September for nine appearances. He did, however, win league Pitcher-of-the-Year honors while at Omaha. He was traded early in the 1986 season to the Seattle Mariners for a minor league outfielder. He would finish his Royals career with a 6-5 record and a 4.19 ERA in 70 appearances.

RANK #297 – CORY BAILEY (#58) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2001-2002)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 375.35
504th Royals Player in Franchise History

Cory Bailey signed with the Kansas City Royals in 2001 after being a part of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Bailey had played in the major leagues during six seasons between 1993 and 1998, but was demoted to AAA minors for two years before having a second chance to play in the majors. Bailey made the most of his second opportunity, appearing in 53 games in 2001 and pitching a 3.48 ERA in 67 ⅓ innings. Bailey had 13 holds for the Royals in his first season and struck out 61. His best game came on August 5, 2001 when he struck out three in one inning of relief in a 10-5 win over the Minnesota Twins. Bailey split time with AAA Omaha in 2002 with a 4.11 ERA and 3-4 record as a relief pitcher. Bailey was granted free agency at the end of the season and he went on to pitch in Japan.

RANK #296 – FELIPE PAULINO (#59) – Starting Pitcher (2011-2012)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 377.78
737th Royals Player in Franchise History

The Kansas City Royals purchased the contract of Felipe Paulino from the Colorado Rockies in May of 2011. Paulino made 20 starts in 21 appearances in 2011 posting a 4.11 ERA and a 4-6 record in 124 2/3 innings. Despite only being with the Royals for part of the season, he was second on the team in strikeouts with 119. His best game came on September 10, 2011 when he struck out 11 in seven innings to earn the 4-2 win over the Seattle Mariners. He got off to a hot start in 2012 with seven starts and a 1.67 ERA. But an elbow strain placed him on the disabled list. He went through Tommy John surgery and missed the rest of the 2012 and all of the 2013 season. Paulino was released after the 2013 season and was signed by Chicago White Sox. Paulino was 7-7 with the Royals and had a 3.63 ERA in 28 appearances.

RANK #295 – MARK DAVIS (#48) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1990-1992)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 379.29
281st Royals Player in Franchise History

Mark Davis signed as a free agent in 1990 after playing for the San Diego Padres. In 1989, while in San Diego, Mark Davis won the Cy Young Award for the National League. He signed with the Royals for $10,000,000, one of the highest in the major leagues. With his arrival, the Royals became the first team in history to have both of the previous year’s Cy Young Award winners on the same team (Bret Saberhagen being the American League winner). For the first two weeks of 1990, Davis was the closer for the Royals. By the end of the month, Davis developed major control problems and his closer position was handed over to Jeff Montgomery. He struggled over the next two seasons in the bullpen. At the end of 1991, the Royals gave him opportunities as a starter with some success. He posted a 2.22 ERA in five starts in 1991 with a 3-1 record. However, he began the 1992 season in the rotation and went 0-2 with a 9.60 ERA in four starts. He was sent back to the bullpen with limited success. He was traded to the Atlanta Braves for former Royals player Juan Berenguer in July. He ended his Royals career with a overall 5.31 ERA and a record of 9-13. Many consider his signing to be one of the worst deals in major league history.

RANK #294 – BRIAN ANDERSON (#19) – Starting Pitcher (2003-2005)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 383.68
558th Royals Player in Franchise History

Brian Anderson was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Cleveland Indians for three minor league players and cash. He made his first start for the Royals on August 26, 2003 against the Texas Rangers and earn the 9-2 victory. He sparked the Royals by going 5-1 in seven starts with a 3.99 ERA. Anderson was picked to be the opening day starter for the Royals in 2004. In that game, he went five innings, gave up five runs, and did not get the decision in a 9-7 victory over the White Sox. In this, his first full season, he only went 6-12 with a lofty ERA of 5.64. On May 8, 2005, Anderson tore his elbow ligament, necessitating Tommy John surgery. He never recovered and his major league career ended. He went 12-15 over 246 1/3 innings with a 5.44 ERA with the Royals.

RANK #293 – RICKY BOTTALICO (#52) – Closing Pitcher (2000)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 385.21
482nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Ricky Bottalico signed as a free agent to the Kansas City Royals in 2000 after playing with the Philadelphia Phillies. Bottalico struggled early in the season, having 7.50 ERA by the first of June. He finished the season with a 4.63 ERA and 16 saves in 62 appearances. His best game came in long relief in a 9-4 win over the Anaheim Angels, pitching three scoreless innings with three strikeouts and the three-inning save. At the end of the season, Bottalico resigned with the Philadelphia Phillies.

RANK #292 – BOBBY FLOYD (#15) – Utility Infield (1970-1974)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 390.27
47th Royals Player in Franchise History

Bobby Floyd was traded to the Kansas City Royals from the Baltimore Orioles for pitcher Moe Drabowsky in 1970. Floyd bounced back and forth from Kansas City to AAA Omaha throughout his career. In 1972, Floyd was on the opening day roster at shortstop due to an injury to starter Freddie Patek. His best game was just after arriving in Kansas City on September 21, 1970. In the second game of a doubleheader, Floyd went 2-4 with a double and three RBIs as the Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 8-2. Floyd’s last season in the major league was in 1974, when he appeared in only 10 games. He had a career .227 batting average in 167 games played with the Royals, primarily as a backup at second base and third base.

RANK #291 – MAC SUZUKI (#17) – Starting Pitcher (1999-2001, 2002)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 390.55
466th Royals Player in Franchise History

Makoto “Mac” Suzuki was the first Japanese player in Royals history. He was claimed off waivers from the New York Mets midway through the 1999 season. That year, Suzuki split as a starter and middle reliever. In 2000, Suzuki was added to the starting rotation, recording a 8-10 record with a 4.34 ERA in 29 starts. His best performance came on August 19, 2000 when he pitched a complete game shutout of the Baltimore Orioles. In late June of 2001, Suzuki was traded, along with Sal Fasano, to the Colorado Rockies for Brent Mayne. He would play with three different teams that season. He was re-signed by the Royals in 2002, but only pitched seven games before being demoted to AAA Omaha. His 2002 season would be the last in the major leagues. Suzuki pitched a total of 333 2/3 innings in his Royals career.

RANK #290 – TERRY PENDLETON (#6) – Designated Hitter (1998)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 395.38
435th Royals Player in Franchise History

Former National League MVP Terry Pendleton was signed by the Royals as a free agent after playing for the Cincinnati Reds. He was brought to Kansas City as an experienced hitter to help mentor the young hitting roster of Kansas City. Pendleton was the designated hitter on opening day for the Kansas City Royals in 1998. He played in 40 games as the DH and a small amount of time at third base. He hit .257 for the Royals with three home runs for the season. His best game came on August 20, 1998 in an 8-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Pendleton hit 2-4 with a home run and four RBIs. Pendleton retired from major league baseball at the conclusion of the season.

RANK #289 – BRAD WELLMAN (#3) – Utility Infield (1988-1989)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 396.61
255th Royals Player in Franchise History

Brad Wellman signed as a free agent in 1987 after playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He primarily played second base and shortstop in his two years with the Royals with a .246 batting average in 174 games played. On September 11, 1988, Wellman hit the 51st-ever franchise inside-the-park home run off of the Oakland Athletics. In 1989, he was the primary backup for the aging Frank White and appeared in 62 games at second base. Wellman ended his major league career at the end of the 1989 season.

RANK #288 – BUTCH DAVIS (#33) – Left Field (1983-1984)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 396.90
199th Royals Player in Franchise History

Butch Davis was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1980. He made his major league debut for the Royals on August 23, 1983. In only 33 games played in 1983, Butch Davis tied with three others Royals players as the team leader in triples with six. He had an amazing first season, batting .344 with two home runs and 18 RBIs. He became the Royals’ opening day starter in left field in 1984, but his success was short lived. He only hit .147 and was demoted to AAA Omaha by mid-July. He continued to stay in the minor leagues for the next two years until he was finally released in 1986 and signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

RANK #287 – CHUCK KNOBLAUCH (#11) – Left Field (2002)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 401.01
517th Royals Player in Franchise History

Chuck Knoblauch signed as a free agent in 2001 after playing for the Minnesota Twins. He was named the leadoff batter on the 2002 opening day for the Royals. Knoblauch season start was like a bang. He hit a grand slam on April 9, 2002 off of Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox. However, from there, things began to go down fast. On June 1, his batting average was only .179. Knoblauch suffered from a condition many players call “the yips,” in which he began to lose control of fielding the ball or throwing. His fielding deteriorated, which caused him to struggle at the plate. The Royals chose not to re-sign Knoblauch and he retired from baseball. He ended his Royals season with a .210 batting average.

RANK #286 – KILA KA’AIHUE (#25) – First Base (2008-2011)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 406.55
681st Royals Player in Franchise History

Kila Ka’aihue was the first native Hawaiian in Royals history. He was drafted by the Royals in 2002. He made his major league debut with the Royals on September 4, 2008 against the Oakland Athletics. He was only called up for 12 games in 2008 and played the entire 2009 season at AAA Omaha. In 2010, he returned to the major leagues for part of the season. He showed power by hitting eight home runs, but only had a .217 batting average. His best game came September 28, 2010 in a 10-1 victory against the Minnesota Twins. He went 3-3 with one walk, two home runs, four runs and four RBIs. In 2011, the Royals planned on starting rookie Eric Hosmer at first base, but due to an injury, the Royals promoted Ka’aihue to the position on opening day. However, Ka’aihue only hit .195 batting average and he was demoted to AAA Omaha. At the end of the season, he was traded to the Oakland Athletics for a minor league player. Ka’aihue hit a career .216 batting average with the Royals with 11 home runs in 87 games played.

RANK #285 – LEO NUNEZ (#46) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2005-2008)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 407.80
605th Royals Player in Franchise History

Leo Nunez’s real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo. From the Dominican Republic, Oviedo lied about his age and assumed the name of his friend “Leo Nunez” in order to receive a more lucrative contract. He initially was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2000, but was traded to the Kansas City Royals in 2004 in exchange for Benito Santiago. Nunez made his major league debut on May 9, 2005 against the Toronto Blue Jays. Nunez struggled out of the bullpen with a 7.55 ERA in his first season. He spent much of the 2006 and 2007 seasons in AA Wichita and AAA Omaha. In 2008, Nunez received more playing time in Kansas City with a record of 4-1 and a 2.98 ERA. After the 2008 season, he was traded to the Florida Marlins for Mike Jacobs. Nunez went 9-7 with a 4.92 ERA in 106 appearances with the Royals over four seasons.

RANK #284 – BLAKE WOOD (#38) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2010-2011)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 407.85
710th Royals Player in Franchise History

Blake Wood was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2006. He made his major league debut as a relief pitcher on May 12, 2010. Wood pitched brilliantly in his first month with an ERA of 1.54. But after that, his performance dropped and his ERA ended with a 5.07 on the season. His second season was much improved. He pitched 3.75 for the season in 69 ⅔ innings and a 5-3 record as a reliever. He even had a rare relief-pitcher at bat on July 3, 2011 against the Colorado Rockies. Wood was released at the end of the season and picked up off waivers by the Cleveland Indians. He had a career 4.30 ERA in 106 relief appearances for the Royals. Today, Wood is pitching for the Cincinnati Reds.

RANK #283 – GLENDON RUSCH (#53) – Starting Pitcher (1997-1999)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 411.009
413th Royals Player in Franchise History

Glendon Rusch was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1993. He made his major league debut on April 6, 1997, when he pitched eight scoreless innings against the Minnesota Twins and he earned his first win. His success was short lived as his ERA rose. He started in 27 games with a 5.50 ERA during the 1997 season. His 1998 season did not fare any better as Rusch’s record dropped to 6-15. He spent nearly the entire 1999 season at AAA Omaha, only being called up for three relief appearances. He was traded in September to the New York Mets for pitcher Dan Murray. He finished with a 12-25 record in 329 innings pitched with the Royals.

RANK #282 – CHUCK HARRISON (#7) – First Base (1969-1971)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 411.101
1st Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Jerry Adair, Wally Bunker, Joe Foy, Jackie Hernandez, Ed Kirkpatrick, Bob Oliver, Lou Piniella, and Ellie Rodriguez)

Chuck Harrison was the first Royals player to play at first base. His contract was purchased from the Atlanta Braves in 1968. Despite being on the opening day roster for the first-ever Royals game, Harrison was relegated to backup first baseman and pinch hitter for much of the 1969 season. In 1970, Harrison spent his entire season playing in the minors before being called up again in 1971. Harrison hit a Royals career .219 in 124 games. His best game came on July 28, 1971 when he went 3-4 with a home run and three RBIs. Harrison ended his major league career with the Kansas City Royals.

RANK #281 – LEON ROBERTS (#16) – Utility Outfield (1983-1984)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 413.94
193rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Leon Roberts was traded by the Toronto Blue Jays to the Kansas City Royals for minor league player Cecil Fielder. Roberts played as a backup outfielder for the 1983 season with 84 appearances. He hit .258 with eight home runs in his first season in Kansas City. Roberts had a very slow start with the Royals, but by mid-July he became a hot bat for the Royals. By 1984, Roberts’ offensive production dropped to only a .222 batting average. He was asked to pitch for the Royals on July 3, 1984. Roberts gave up three runs and made one strikeout in an inning pitched. Roberts was released at the end of the season, finishing his major league career.

RANK #280 – CHAD KREUTER (#19) – Catcher (1999)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 414.31
455th Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Rey Sanchez)

Chad Kreuter signed in 1998 with the Kansas City Royals as a free agent after playing for the Anaheim Angels. He was named the opening day catcher in 1999. Kreuter had mediocre hitting in his one season with the Royals, only hitting .225 with five home runs in 85 starts as catcher. His best game came May 19, 1999 against the Oakland Athletics. He hit 4-4 with a double and five RBIs. Kreuter was not re-signed and was picked up by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He played a total of 107 games for the Royals and logged 767 1/3 innings as catcher.

RANK #279 – HUBIE BROOKS (#30) – Utility Outfield (1993-1994)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 415.74
349th Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Rey Sanchez)

Veteran Hubie Brooks signed as a free agent in 1993 after playing for the California Angels. He spent many years with the Montreal Expos as was a two-time all star outfielder. He made 109 appearances with the Royals over two seasons with a .274 batting average He was used half of his games in 1993 as a pinch hitter, batting .303 in that situation. In 1994, he was used almost exclusively as a pinch hitter, but batting under .220 for most of the first half of the season. However, on June 13, 1994, Brooks hit a grand slam against the California Angels. He was released in mid-July of 1994 to make room for Wally Joyner’s return from the disabled list. This ended his major league career.

RANK #278 – RAMON RAMIREZ (#56) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2008)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 417.44
667th Royals Player in Franchise History

Ramon Ramirez was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Colorado Rockies for starting pitcher Jorge de la Rosa. Ramirez instantly became a major part of the Royals’ bullpen, making 71 appearances in 2008. His season was up and down. He began the season with a 0.69 ERA in his first 13 games. Then he had 6.08 ERA in his next 13 games, recovering with a 2.08 ERA for the final part of the season. Ramirez, along with middle relief pitcher Ron Mahay, became very effective setup men for closer Joakim Soria. Ramirez had 19 holds in the season with an overall ERA of 2.64 and 70 strikeouts in 71 1/3 innings. Ramirez was traded to the Boston Red Sox at the end of the season for outfielder Coco Crisp.

RANK #277 – SHANE HALTER (#4) – Utility Player (1997-1998)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 422.59
414th Royals Player in Franchise History

Shane Halter was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1991. His major league debut with the Royals was on April 6, 1997 against the Minnesota Twins. Halter was a very versatile player who could play any position. In his rookie year, he played six different positions including designated hitter. He was also used as a pinch runner numerous times throughout the season. He made 74 appearances with a .276 batting average. In 1998, he appeared in 86 games. His best game was on April 11, 1998 when he started at shortstop, batting 2-4 with a double and two RBIs in a losing effort to the Minnesota Twins. On July 17, Halter pitched one inning against the Seattle Mariners. Halter was traded to the New York Mets in March of 1999 for a minor league player. In his career, Halter played every position for the Royals except catcher.

RANK #276 – CURT WILKERSON (#26) – Utility Infield (1992-1993)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 422.74
325th Royals Player in Franchise History

Curt Wilkerson signed as a free-agent in 1992 after playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played as a backup second baseman and shortstop for 111 games in 1992. Wilkerson finished the 1992 season with 18 stolen bases and a .250 batting average. His best series as a Kansas City Royal was at home against Oakland between July 31 and August 2 of 1992. In that series, he went 8-11 with three runs, two RBIs and a stolen base. He only played for two months in 1993 before being demoted to AAA Omaha. With this demotion, Wilkerson ended his major league career.

RANK #275 – A.J. HINCH (#7) – Catcher (2001-2002)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 422.84
503rd Royals Player in Franchise History

In 2001, A.J. Hinch arrived in Kansas City in a complex three-team trade. Hinch and Angel Berroa were sent to Kansas City from the Oakland Athletics. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays sent Roberto Hernandez to Kansas City and Cory Lidle to Oakland. Oakland sent Ben Grieve to Tampa Bay and Kansas City sent Johnny Damon and Mark Ellis to Oakland. Hinch split his first season between Kansas City and AAA Omaha. While with the Royals, split time as the team’s catcher with Brent Mayne, Hector Ortiz and Gregg Zaun. His batting average of .157 was the lowest of four-catcher rotation of the Royals. However, he played his best game in his second-ever game with the Royals on April 8, 2001 when he went 1-4 with a home run and three RBIs in a 15-4 blowout of the Minnesota Twins. In Hinch’s second season with the Royals, he became the primary backup catcher to Brent Mayne, logging 527 1/3 innings on the backstop. His batting average improved to .249 and he produced seven home runs in 49 hits. Hinch was released by the Royals at the end of the 2002 season and he signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians. Today, Hinch is the manager of the Houston Astros.

RANK #274 – HARMON KILLEBREW (#3) – Designated Hitter (1975)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 423.72
97th Royals Player in Franchise History

In 1975, the Kansas City Royals signed Harmon Killebrew to a one-year contract after being released by the Minnesota Twins. He became the first truly full-time designated hitter in Royals history and appeared as the opening day DH for 1975. Killebrew played as a designated hitter in 92 games that season, but only had a .199 batting average and 14 home runs. On May 4, 1975, the Kansas City Royals played their last game in a three-game series in Minnesota. At that game, the Twins retired his jersey. During that game, Killebrew went 2-3 with a walk, a homerun and two RBIs. Killebrew received a standing ovation. Killebrew retired after the 1975 season a was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984.

RANK #273 – CHRIS YOUNG (#32) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2015-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 428.17
804th Royals Player in Franchise History

Veteran Chris Young signed with the Kansas City Royals in 2015 after being the American League Comeback-Player-of-the-Year for the Seattle Mariners. At 6’10”, he is tied with Andy Sisco as the tallest Royals player in history and tied for the second tallest-player in major league history. Due to his height, Young has a higher vantage point when throwing the ball that allows for an easier time hitting the strike zone. His fastball only averages in the mid-80s and his style induces numerous fly balls. Young attended Princeton University and was coached by former major league catcher Scott Bradley, who caught for 6’10” Randy Johnson. Young was brought in as a long-relief pitcher, but with the season-ending injury to Jason Vargas, Young was placed into the starting rotation. He quickly became the best pitcher in the Royals rotation. During May and June, Young went 6-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 60 innings pitched. He quickly became one of the starting pitchers in major league baseball. On June 16, Young pitched seven scoreless innings in Milwaukee and became the first pitcher in 43 years to post three RBIs in a game. In July, his ERA shot up and he was returned to the bullpen. He started the last two games of the regular season before going into the postseason as the Royals’ fourth starter in the four-man rotation. During the first game of the World Series, Young was brought in during the 12th inning in long relief against the New York Mets. He pitched three shutout innings, earning the win in the longest game in World Series history. Young’s efforts during the season and postseason helped the Royals clinch their second-ever World Series Title in Franchise history. He ended the season 11-6 with a 3.06 ERA. Chris Young is still pitching with the Royals today.

RANK #272 – LINDY MCDANIEL (#41) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1974-1975)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 430.38
89th Royals Player in Franchise History

Veteran pitcher Lindy McDaniel was traded to the Kansas City Royals from the New York Yankees in 1973 for Lou Piniella and Ken Wright. He was primarily a middle relief pitcher in the 1974 season with five spot-starts in late June and early July. He had a 3.46 ERA for the season with a 1-4 record in 106 2/3 innings pitched. In the first of his rare starts for the Royals, McDaniel pitched a complete game 4-1 win over the Oakland Athletics. McDaniel had four strikeouts and only one earned run in nine innings pitched. McDaniel pitched again in 1975 with a 4.15 ERA in 78 innings pitched. He retired from baseball with the Kansas City Royals after pitching in the major leagues since 1955.

RANK #271 – RYAN MADSON (#46) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2015)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 432.36
801st Royals Player in Franchise History

Known as “Mad Dog,” Veteran pitcher Ryan Madson signed a one-year contract with Kansas City in 2015. Madson had not pitched in a major league game since September 28, 2011 due to season-ending Tommy John surgery during Spring Training with the Cincinnati Reds in 2012. In 2012, he signed with the Los Angeles Angels, but was still unable to play. He made the 25-man roster for the Royals in 2015 and became one of the most reliable relief pitchers on the best bullpen in major league baseball. Madson had a 2.02 ERA by the All-Star break and became one of the primary setup pitchers in the Royals bullpen. By the end of the season, he had a 3-1 record, 20 holds, and helped the Royals into the postseason for the second straight year. During the playoffs, he had six rough outings, giving up five earned runs in 5 ⅓ innings pitched and a blown save. In the World Series, Madson shined, pitching three scoreless innings with five strikeouts and a win. Madson helped the Royals win their second-ever World Series. At the end of the season, Madson signed with the Oakland Athletics as a free agent.

RANK #270 – TIM SPEHR (#12) – Catcher (1991, 1997, 1998-1999)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 433.69
311th Royals Player in Franchise History

Tim Spehr was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1988. A native of Excelsior Springs, MO, Spehr made his major league debut on July 18, 1991 in a game against the Baltimore Orioles. He was called up due to an injury to starting catcher Mike Macfarlane. In his first season, he batted .189 with three home runs in 74 at bats. On September 29, 1991, Tim Spehr hit a grand slam off of Jim Abbot of the California Angels. Spehr was not called up from the minors in the 1992 season and then was involved in a trade with the Montreal Expos that brought Mark Gardner to Kansas City. Spehr played the next four seasons as a backup catcher in Montreal before being traded to the Boston Red Sox. Weeks later, Boston sold his contract to the Royals. Now in his second stint with the Royals, Spehr made 17 appearances in 1997 as catcher, including catching on opening day. Having only a .171 batting average, the Royals released Spehr in May of 1997. Spehr was picked up by the Atlanta Braves for the remainder of the 1997 season. The next year, Spehr signed with the New York Mets and played a limited time for their team. In August, his contract was sold to the Kansas City Royals again. This third stint with the Royals was his best. Spehr was the primary backup catcher to Chad Kreuter, hitting nine home runs and driving in 26. The 1999 season would be his last in the major leagues.

RANK #269 – HECTOR ORTIZ (#22) – Catcher (1998-2001)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 435.68
454th Royals Player in Franchise History

Hector Ortiz signed with the Kansas City Royals as a free agent from the Chicago Cubs. He made his major league debut on September 14, 1998 against the Oakland Athletics. He only made four appearances in 1998 and played in the minor leagues until he was called up in late July of 2000 as a backup catcher, replacing Jorge Fabregas. Due to an injury to starting catcher Gregg Zaun, he was the opening day catcher for the Royals in 2001. He was the starting catcher for the Royals until Kansas City acquired Brent Mayne that season. His best game came May 19, 2001 in a 6-2 win over the Boston Red Sox when he hit 3-4 with a triple and two RBIs. Ortiz did not make the major league roster in 2002 and in late April, his contract was sold to the Texas Rangers. Ortiz hit .293 while playing for the Royals.

RANK #268 – CARL TAYLOR (#44) – Catcher (1971, 1972-1973)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 435.69
53rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Carl Taylor was traded to the Royals in 1971 by the Milwaukee Brewers for Ellie Rodriguez. In September, his contract was sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates re-sold his contract back to the Royals in early 1972. He was a backup catcher who occasionally played outfield or pinch hit. He hit .236 for the Royals in 152 appearances. He never played in the major leagues again after 1973.

RANK #267 – JERRY MAY (#12) – Catcher (1971-1973)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 437.53
55th Royals Player in Franchise History

Jerry May was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Freddie Patek and Bruce Dal Canton, from the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Bob Johnson, shortstop Jackie Hernandez and catcher Jim Campanis. May split time with Ed Kirkpatrick behind the plate. He hit .252 in 71 games played in his first season with the Royals. His best game came April 24, 1971 in a 6-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians when he went 2-4 with a double and three RBIs. In 1972, he became the backup catcher to Ed Kirkpatrick, but his batting average dropped to .190. During both seasons, May battled injuries throughout the season. In 1973, after having a very bad start to the season, his contract was sold to the New York Yankees. He hit a career .223 and caught 576 2/3 innings with the Kansas City Royals.

RANK #266 – PHIL HIATT (#25) – Utility Player (1993-1995)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 444.68
345th Royals Player in Franchise History

Phil Hiatt was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1990 and made his major league debut on April 7, 1993. He primarily played third base in his first season, splitting time with Gary Gaetti. He played 558 1/3 innings at third base, but only hit .218 for the season. The best game of his Royals career came on June 9, 1993 when he went 3-5 with a double, home run and five RBIs. Unfortunately, he did not get called up in 1994 and spent most of his time at AA Memphis. He was able to return to the Royals in 1995 as a utility outfielder, but only hit .204 with limited playing time. He was ultimately traded to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Juan Samuel.

RANK #265 – STEVE BRAUN (#3) – Left Field (1978-1980)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 445.38
128th Royals Player in Franchise History

Steve Braun was traded to the Kansas City Royals from the Seattle Mariners for Jim Colborn on June 1, 1978. He began by playing various positions such as left field, third base and pinch hitter. Braun hit .263 in 1978 and also made two appearances in the 1978 ALCS against the New York Yankees. Due to some injuries, Braun only appeared in 58 games in 1979, batting .267. Braun was released in early June of 1980 by the Royals and was picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays. He hit a career .246 for the Kansas City Royals.

RANK #264 – MIKE JONES (#17) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1980-1985)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 446.83
157th Royals Player in Franchise History

Mike Jones played his entire major league career with the Kansas City Royals. He was a first round draft pick in 1977. Jones had brief stints with the Royals in 1980 and 1981. When the Royals made the divisional series of 1981, Jones was awarded the start in Game 2 against the Oakland Athletics. He pitched eight innings in a tough 2-1 loss. In December of 1981, Jones suffered a broken neck in a car accident. He would not pitch again in the major leagues until June of 1984. During the 1985 season, Jones was primarily a middle relief pitcher, appearing in 33 games with a 3-3 record. Jones ended his major league career with the Royals in 1985 with an 11-10 record in 71 appearances, pitching 225 1/3 innings.

RANK #263 – CESAR GERONIMO (#23) – Utility Outfield (1981-1983)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 448.83
159th Royals Player in Franchise History

Veteran Cesar Geronimo was signed as a free agent in 1981 after playing for the Cincinnati Reds. In his first season, he primarily played right field as a backup outfielder, batting .246. He made a brief appearance as a pinch runner for Willie Aikens in Game 2 of the 1981 Division Series against the Oakland Athletics. He would have the same role as backup outfielder in the 1982 season, however by 1983, his offensive production fell dramatically and he was released at the end of the season, ending his major league career. He finished his Royals career with a .244 batting average in 324 at bats.

RANK #262 – MENDY LOPEZ (#32) – Shortstop (1998-1999, 2003-2004)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 452.81
441st Royals Player in Franchise History

Mendy Lopez was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 1992. He made his major league debut on June 3, 1998. Lopez primarily played shortstop in his first season with the Royals after the demotion of Felix Martinez. However, in 1999, the Royals acquired Rey Sanchez at shortstop and Lopez spent much of his season at AAA Omaha. He was released by the Royals at the end of the season and was picked up by the Florida Marlins. After short stints with Florida, Houston and Pittsburgh, he re-signed with the Royals as a utility infielder in 2003. His best game came on September 27, 2003 when, replacing Angel Berroa at shortstop, he went 2-2 with a homerun and two RBIs. On May 21, 2003, Lopez stole home plate against the Oakland Athletics. Lopez ended his major league career in 2004 when the Royals sold his contract to Samsung Lions in the Korean League. He played a total of 562 2/3 innings at shortstop while in Kansas City.

RANK #261 – MIKE WOOD (#46) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2004-2006)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 454.17
585th Royals Player in Franchise History

In June of 2004, Mike Wood arrived in Kansas City through a complex three-team deal. Mike Wood was sent to the Kansas City Royals, along with Mark Teahen, from the Oakland Athletics. Kansas City sent Carlos Beltran to the Houston Astros, Houston sent Octavio Dotel to Oakland, and Houston sent John Buck to Kansas City with cash. Wood was instantly inserted into the starting rotation and started 17 games for the Royals in 2004. Unfortunately, he only went 3-8 with a 5.94 ERA. In 2005, Wood was moved to the bullpen in long relief and improved his ERA to 4.03 before given a second opportunity as a starter late in the season due to an injury to starter Brian Anderson. In his final season with the Royals, Wood split time in the bullpen and in a starting roll. Wood was released at the end of the 2006 season and picked up off waivers by the Texas Rangers. Wood had a career 5.28 ERA with the Royals and a record of 11-19 in 279 2/3 innings pitcher.

RANK #260 – STORM DAVIS (#43) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1990-1991)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 454.90
282nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Gerald Earl “Storm” Davis signed as a free agent by the Kansas City Royals in 1989 after playing with the Oakland Athletics. He signed a $6 million three-year contract with the Royals. Many have said the contract was one of the worst blunders in major league history. Davis became part of the starting rotation in 1990, starting in 20 games with a 7-10 record. In 1991, he was changed to a middle relief role, making 51 appearances but only a 3-9 record. He was traded at the end of the 1991 season to the Baltimore Orioles for catcher Bob Melvin. He finished his short and expensive career with the Royals with a 10-19 record, a 4.85 ERA, and 226 1/3 innings pitched in 72 appearances.

RANK #259 – AMBIORIX BURGOS (#50) – Closing Pitcher (2005-2006)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 459.56
604th Royals Player in Franchise History

Ambiorix Burgos was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2000. He made his major league debut on April 23, 2005. He pitched in 63 ⅓ innings in 59 appearances and had the fastest average pitch in baseball at 96.5 mph. Despite only pitching in relief, Burgos was tenth in the league in wild pitches. In 2006, Burgos was made the team’s closer and led the team with 18 saves, but blew 12 save opportunities. He was replaced by Joe Nelson by the end of the season. After the season, Burgos was traded to the New York Mets for starting pitcher Brian Bannister. He ended his career with a 4.81 ERA in 127 appearances for the Royals.

RANK #258 – JERRY ADAIR (#14) – Second Base (1969-1970)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 460.01
1st Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Wally Bunker, Joe Foy, Chuck Harrison, Jackie Hernandez, Ed Kirkpatrick, Bob Oliver, Lou Piniella, and Ellie Rodriguez)

Adair was selected from the Boston Red Sox in the 1968 Expansion Draft. He became the first second baseman in Royals history in the 1969 opening day game against the Minnesota Twins. Adair became the primary second-baseman for the Royals in their inaugural year. Adair hit .244 in his Royals career with five home runs and 49 RBIs. He ranked second in the American League in fielding percentage as a second baseman. On April 21, 1969, Adair hit the first-ever inside-the-park home run in Royals history off of pitcher Marty Pattin of the Seattle Pilots. His best game came on September 26, 1969 when he went 3-4 with a double, home run and three RBIs against the Chicago White Sox. Adair finished his major league career with the Kansas City Royals when he was abruptly released in 1970. He would go on to play in Japan for a short time.

RANK #257 – LUIS MENDOZA (#39) – Starting Pitcher (2010-2013)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 460.27
707th Royals Player in Franchise History

The Kansas City Royals purchased the contract of Luis Mendoza from the Texas Rangers in 2010. Mendoza made only six appearances between 2010 and 2011. In 2012, Mendoza became part of the Kansas City starting rotation, starting 25 games in 30 appearances. He had a 8-10 record with a 4.23 ERA. In the 2013 season, his performance began to go down as his ERA rose to 5.36. He was removed from the starting rotation in early July and used primarily in long relief from the bullpen. Mendoza was released after the season and signed to play in Japan. Mendoza pitched 278 2/3 innings while in Kansas City.

RANK #256 – BILL BUCKNER (#14) – Designated Hitter (1988-1989)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 461.23
257th Royals Player in Franchise History

Veteran outfielder Bill Buckner signed with the Royals in May of 1988 after being released by the California Angels. Buckner was a former all-star and National League Batting Title winner with the Chicago Cubs. Buckner was also was known as the Boston Red Sox player that let a ground ball go through his legs in the 1986 World Series that allowed the New York Mets to force a seventh game and win the World Series. Buckner primarily split time as a designated hitter along with George Brett and Pat Tabler. He played several games at first base as well as a pinch hitter. Buckner hit .256 with only three home runs and 34 RBIs on the season. His best game with the Royals was on May 19, 1988 in a 14-1 win over the Minnesota Twins where he hit two solo home runs and went 3-4 batting. Buckner’s numbers dramatically dropped in 1989 and he only appeared in 79 games, most of which was as a pinch hitter. Buckner was released after the season and he was re-signed by the Boston Red Sox. Buckner hit .239 for the Kansas City Royals in 168 appearances.

RANK #255 – BEN ZOBRIST (#18) – Utility Player (2015)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 469.48
813th Royals Player in Franchise History

In late July of 2015, just before the trade deadline, the Kansas City Royals traded Aaron Brooks and a minor league player to the Oakland Athletics for Ben Zobrist. Despite having one of the best fielding percentages in major league history at second base, Zobrist was brought to Kansas City to replace the injured Alex Gordon in left field. Zobrist has been called the “Super Utility Player” because of his extreme versatility. He could play every position with ease. He has even been known to pitch. In only his third game with Kansas City, Zobrist became the sixth player in franchise history to hit two home runs in a game from both sides of the plate against the Toronto Blue Jays. While with the Royals, Zobrist played five positions. However, when Gordon returned to the team, second baseman Omar Infante had a season-ending injury. Zobrist was placed as second base. He hit .284 in Kansas City with 29 walks to 30 strikeouts. He hit seven home runs in his short tenure with Kansas City. When the Royals made the postseason, Zobrist was named the starting second baseman for Kansas City. He went on a tear, hitting .303 with two home runs, making spectacular catches in the infield, and tying a major league record with eight doubles in the postseason. There was some concern that he would leave the team during the series because his wife was due with their third child. However, to the delight of many fans, his wife told the media that she wanted him to keep playing even if she went into labor. Thankfully, the birth happened after the World Series. Zobrist became a major key to the Royals winning the World Series in 2015. At the end of the season, he declared himself a free agent and is currently playing with the Chicago Cubs.

RANK #254 – DANE IORG (#9) – Utility Player (1984-1985)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 471.84
209th Royals Player in Franchise History

Dane Iorg’s contract with the St. Louis Cardinal’s was sold to the Kansas City Royals in May of 1984. Iorg became a utility player for the Royals by playing first base, outfield and designated hitter. Iorg made 15 appearances in 1984 as a pinch hitter in 78 games played. Iorg hit .255 with five home runs and 30 RBIs in his first season. In 1985, Iorg made 30 appearances as a pinch hitter out of 64 games played in the regular season. He occasionally played outfield positions during the season. Iorg made appearances in both the 1984 and 1985 ALCS. His most memorable game came during Game 6 of the 1985 World Series. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and down by one run, Iorg hit a bloop single to right field which scored Onix Concepcion and Jim Sundberg to win the game and force a Game 7 of the World Series. Dane Iorg became a hero in Kansas City in 1985. He was granted free agency after the World Series and he signed with the San Diego Padres. Iorg hit .244 in his Royals career.

RANK #253 – KURT BEVACQUA (#2) – Third Base (1973, 1974)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 471.90
74th Royals Player in Franchise History

Kurt Bevacqua was traded to Kansas City by the Cleveland Indians in 1972 for Mike Hedlund. In 1973, he played in 99 games with the Royals, backing up Paul Schaal at third base. He hit a career-high 40 RBIs in his first season with the Royals. On July 9, 1973, Bevacqua hit a grand slam against the Milwaukee Brewers. At the end of the season, Bevacqua was traded to the Pittsburgh. After a half-season in Pittsburgh, he was traded back to the Royals in July of 1974. He had limited playing time in his second stint with the Royals and only hit .211 in 39 games. His contract was sold to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1975. Bevacqua hit .246 with 43 RBIs while with the Royals.

RANK #252 – RON MAHAY (#32) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2008-2009)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 473.81
670th Royals Player in Franchise History

Ron Mahay signed as a free agent in 2007 after playing for the Texas Rangers. He was a major part of the bullpen, pitching in 57 relief appearances with an ERA of 3.48. As a setup pitcher in 2008 for Joakim Soria, Mahay had 20 holds in his first season with the Royals, striking out 49. His productivity diminished in 2009 when his ERA shot up to 4.79 with only three holds. He was released by the Royals in late August and picked up by the Minnesota Twins. Mahay had a career 3.99 ERA with the Royals in 98 relief appearances.

RANK #251 – ALEX RIOS (#15) – Right Field (2015)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 477.55
799th Royals Player in Franchise History

Veteran outfielder and former all-star Alex Rios was signed as a free agent in 2015 after playing for the Texas Rangers. Rios was brought to Kansas City to fill the vacancy left after the release of Nori Aoki in right field. It was hoped that Rios would bring more power to the anemic Royals offense of 2014. On Opening Day, Rios did not disappoint when he hit a homerun to help the Royals win 10-1. He was hitting .321 for the Royals until a pitch broke his hand on April 13 and he was forced on the disabled list for the rest of April and all of May. When he returned to the lineup, he went into a major slump, only hitting .181 during the month of June. He bounced back, hitting .274 with three home runs after July 1. He lacked the fielding prowess of backup outfielder Paulo Orlando and would periodically leave the game in the seventh inning for the defensive replacement. Rios was selected to be the Royals’ starting right fielder during the 2015 playoffs. His 1,691 career games without playing in the playoffs was the longest of any player in the major leagues at the time. He hit .333 with one home runs and five RBIs during the playoffs to help the Royals to their second-ever World Series. At the end of the season, Rios became a free agent. Rios hit .255 for the Royals.

RANK #250 – NELSON BRILES (#19) – Starting Pitcher (1974-1975)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 479.84
93rd Royals Player in Franchise History

In 1973, Nelson Briles was traded, along with Fernando Gonzalez, to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Ed Kirkpatrick, Kurt Bevacqua and a minor league player. Briles studied drama in college, sang and was a comedian. Just after arriving in Kansas City, Briles released a song on Capitol Records titled, “Hey Hank,” asking Hank Aaron not to hit home run #715 off of him. Two games into the 1974 season, Briles was on the disabled list for a strained knee. After returning, he strained it again and was required to have surgery on it after the season. The 1975 season did not fare much better for Briles as he was placed on the disabled list several times. After the 1975 season, he was traded to the Texas Rangers for second baseman Dave Nelson. He finished his Royals career with a 4.14 ERA, 114 strikeout in 42 appearances. His record with the Royals was 11-13 in 215 innings pitched.

RANK #249 – JERRY DON GLEATON (#39) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1987-1989)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 481.09
243rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Jerry Don Gleaton (one of the few players in major league history to use all three names regularly), signed as a free agent in 1986 after playing for the Chicago White Sox. He became a regular left-hander in the bullpen, pitching 50 2/3 innings in his first season in 48 appearances. His best game came against the Texas Rangers on May 24, 1987 when he earned the win pitching 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, striking three and allowing only one hit. His ERA dropped to 3.55 in 1988 in 42 relief appearances. However, by 1989, Gleaton had an 8.22 ERA by the end of May and he was sent down to AAA Omaha. He returned in late August and brought his ERA down to 5.65. He would be traded by the Royals to the Detroit Tigers in 1990 for a minor league player. He finished his Royals career with a 4.19 ERA in 105 relief appearances.

RANK #248 – TODD BENZINGER (#38) – First Base (1991)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 486.16
310th Royals Player in Franchise History

Todd Benzinger was traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Carmelo Martinez in July of 1991. The Royals had been platooning Warren Cromartie and Carmelo Martinez at first base, but after the trade, Benzinger became the full-time player at the position. Benzinger hit .294 for the season and hit two home runs. One of the home runs was a grand slam on July 23, 1991 against the Milwaukee Brewers. He was a much more effective first baseman defensively than Cromartie or Martinez by only committing three errors in 649 ⅓ innings played. At the end of the season, however, Benzinger was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Chris Gwynn.

RANK #247 – JOEL PERALTA (#57) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2006-2007)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 488.54
625th Royals Player in Franchise History

Joel Peralta was claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Royals in 2005 after being released by the Anaheim Angels. He became a major part of the bullpen in 2006, making 64 appearances in relief and striking out 57. He made 62 appearances in 2007 with an improved 3.80 ERA. However, in 2008, Peralta began to struggle. His workload was more limited and he finished his last season with the Royals with a 5.98 ERA. He was released by the Royals after a bad spring training in 2009 and he was picked up by the Colorado Rockies. Peralta had a 3-8 record in 214 innings pitched and a career 4.54 ERA.

RANK #246 – RUDY LAW (#7) – Utility Outfield (1986)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 490.59
223rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Rudy Law signed with the Kansas City Royals after being released by the Chicago White Sox. Law played as a backup outfielder, switching from right to left field. He hit .261 for the season, but only had 36 RBIs in 307 at bats. Law’s best game came against his former team on May 24, 1986 when he went 3-5 with a home run and three RBIs as the Royals beat the White Sox 7-6. Rudy Law was released at the end of the season by the Royals due to the up and coming Bo Jackson’s success. Law ended his major league career with the Royals after playing in 87 games.

RANK #245 – JOSE SANTIAGO (#46) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1997-2001)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 493.31
421st Royals Player in Franchise History

Jose Santiago was drafted by the Royals in 1992. He made his major league debut on June 7, 1997. That season, Santiago only made four appearances. His breakout year would be 1999 when Santiago pitched 34 games in relief and sporting a 3.42 ERA. Although he bounced back and forth from Kansas City to the minors, Santiago pitched in 105 games with a 13-12 record while in Kansas City. In June of 2001, Santiago was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for starting pitcher Paul Byrd.

RANK #244 – VIDA BLUE (#33) – Starting Pitcher (1982-1983)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 493.58
175th Royals Player in Franchise History

Former American League MVP and Cy Young Award winner Vida Blue was traded by the San Francisco Giants, along with Bob Tufts, to the Kansas City Royals for Renie Martin, Atlee Hammaker, Craig Chamberlain and Brad Wellman. Blue was inserted into the starting rotation of Larry Gura, Paul Splittorff and Dennis Leonard. Blue stated in 31 games in his first season, with a record of 13-12 and an ERA of 3.78. He led the team with 103 strikeouts in 1982. One of his best performances was on June 1, 1982 when he pitched only five innings against the Chicago White Sox, but had nine strikeouts. Problems plagued Blue in 1983 when his production dropped. He plead guilty, along with Willie Wilson, Willie Aikens and Jerry Martin, for attempting to purchase cocaine. After the guilty plea, Blue was released and did not play baseball again until 1985 for San Francisco. Vida Blue was 13-17 with a 4.49 ERA as a Kansas City Royals pitcher in 50 appearances.

RANK #243 – ANGEL SALAZAR (#2) – Shortstop (1986-1987)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 496.39
222nd Royals Player in Franchise History

In 1986, Angel Salazar was traded to the Kansas City Royals from the New York Mets for Tony Ferreira. Salazar had not played in the major leagues since 1984 when he played for the Montreal Expos. Despite his history as a poor hitter, Salazar was made the opening day shortstop for the Royals due to the departure of Onix Concepcion the previous year. In his first season with the Royals, Salazar had the best performance of his career with a .245 batting average. By the end of the season, however, Salazar began sharing time at shortstop with Buddy Biancalana. His best game was on September 7, 1986 when he went 2-3 with a double and three RBIs. By 1987, it was clear that Salazar was not meeting up to expectations, hitting only .205 on the season. By August, Salazar was replaced by rookie Ross Jones at shortstop. The Royals decided to trade Salazar to the Cincinnati Reds, along with pitcher Danny Jackson in exchange for shortstop Kurt Stillwell and pitcher Ted Power. Salazar only hit .224 for the Royals, yet logged 1,658 2/3 innings at shortstop.

RANK #242 – JOE ZDEB (#19) – Left Field (1977-1979)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 496.46
115th Royals Player in Franchise History

Joe Zdeb played his entire career for the Kansas City Royals. He was selected in the fourth round of the free-agent draft in 1971. After Jim Wohlford was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, Zdeb was called up to become the opening-day left fielder for the Royals in 1977. Zdeb platooned the position with Tom Poquette that year. He eventually became a utility outfielder before he was sent to the minors after the rise of Willie Wilson. In 1980, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox. His best game was on July 1, 1977 when Zdeb went 5-5 against the Cleveland Indians. In that game, Zdeb had two doubles, a homerun and four RBIs as the Royals routed Cleveland 12-2. He played in a total of 180 games with Kansas City.

 

RANK #241 – ERVIN SANTANA (#54) – Starting Pitcher (2013)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 497.37
762nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Ervin Santana was traded by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to the Kansas City Royals, with cash, for a minor league player. Santana became part of a one-two punch in the starting rotation along with recently acquired James Shields. Unfortunately for Santana, he had the worst run support of any starting pitcher in the American League. He had a 9-10 record with the Royals with a 3.24 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 211 innings pitched. He was the winning pitcher in the home opener for the Royals, pitching eight innings and giving up only one earned run. He did not re-sign with the Royals and signed with the Atlanta Braves in 2014.

RANK #240 – BILLY BREWER (#41) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1993-1995)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 498.73
347th Royals Player in Franchise History

Billy Brewer was selected in the 1992 Rule 5 Draft from the Montreal Expos. He became a left-handed situational relief pitcher for the Royals over the next three seasons. In 1994, Brewer made 50 appearances in the strike-shortened season and pitched only 38 2/3 innings. His ERA was an impressive 2.56. Unfortunately, his performance dropped in 1995 with an ERA of 5.56 and a 2-4 record. Brewer was then traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Jose Offerman in 1995. He had a career 8-7 record with a 3.95 ERA in 144 appearances for the Royals. He also earned 24 career holds as a middle relief pitcher in Kansas City.

RANK #239 – JASON KENDALL (#18) – Catcher (2010)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 498.76
702nd Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Rick Ankiel, Chris Getz, and Scott Podsednik)

Veteran catcher Jason Kendall signed as a free agent in 2010 after playing with the Milwaukee Brewers. Kendall is one of only seven catchers with more than 2,000 hits in their career. He was named the opening day catcher for Kansas City in 2010. Kendall hit .256 during the season in Kansas City with 37 RBIs. He lead the American League in throwing out baserunners attempting to steal with 41 on the season. He logged 1,018 2/3 innings as the Royals primary catcher. His best game came on June 27, 2010 in a 10-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Kendall hit 3-5 with a double and four RBIs. He had season-ending surgery in early September due to a torn rotator cuff. He announced his retirement in 2012.

RANK #238 – BUDDY BIANCALANA (#1) – Shortstop (1982-1987)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 498.93
188th Royals Player in Franchise History

Buddy Biancalana was a first round draft pick by the Kansas City Royals in 1978. He made his major league debut in 1982 and tripled in his second-ever at bat. He was only brought up for six games in 1983 before finally have some quality playing time in 1984. He had an opportunity to play in the 1984 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. In 1985, Biancalana became a backup to shortstop Onix Concepcion for much of the season. However, at the end of the season, Manager Dick Howser replaced Concepcion with Biancalana as the full-time shortstop. Biancalana became the starting shortstop in every game of the 1985 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. In the off-season, Biancalana made national news when he appeared on the David Letterman Show. Letterman started a “Biancalana-Watch” as a parody to the Pete Rose watch for breaking Ty Cobb’s all-time hit record. In 1986, Biancalana made 100 appearances as a utility infielder to shortstop Angel Salazar and second baseman Frank White. In July of 1987, he was traded to the Houston Astros for pitcher Mel Stottlemyre, Jr. Biancalana hit a career .213 for the Kansas City Royals and is 15th all-time in innings played at shortstop with 1,381 1/3 innings over 293 games.

RANK #237 – JOHNNY GIAVOTELLA (#9) – Second Base (2011-2014)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 498.99
741st Royals Player in Franchise History

Johnny Giavotella was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2008. He made his major league debut on August 5, 2011. Giavotella has a career batting average of .238 with the Royals in 125 appearances with the Royals. Giavotella has an outstanding fielding percentage of .984, but his batting average kept him in the minor leagues for much of his career and only having spot appearances in 2013 and 2014. He had four home runs and 45 RBIs while in Kansas City and logged 951 innings at second base. At the end of the 2014 season, he was traded to the Los Angeles Angels for a minor league pitcher.

RANK #236 – BOB JOHNSON (#30) – Starting Pitcher (1970)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 500.95
41st Royals Player in Franchise History

Bob Johnson was traded to the Royals, along with Amos Otis, from the New York Mets in 1970 for third baseman Joe Foy. His one season with the Royals was a great benefit to the team. He only had an 8-13 record, but he was ranked third in the American League with 206 strikeouts, tenth in the league with a 3.07 ERA, and first in the league in fielding for a pitcher. His best performance came on August 23, 1970, when he pitched a complete game 4-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox, striking out 12 batters and giving up only two earned runs. At the end of the season, Johnson was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, along with Jackie Hernandez and Jim Campanis for Freddie Patek, Bruce Dal Canton and Jerry May. He pitched 214 innings for Kansas City that season.

RANK #235 – BOB STINSON (#15) – Catcher (1975-1976)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 507.05
99th Royals Player in Franchise History

Bob Stinson was traded to the Kansas City Royals in 1975 from the Montreal Expos for Rodney Scott. In his first season, he split time as catcher with Buck Martinez and Fran Healy. He hit .265 in 63 games played. In 1976, he became the full-time backup catcher to Buck Martinez hitting a respectable .263. His best game came on May 26, 1976 when he went 3-5 with a homerun and three RBIs as Kansas City defeated the Texas Rangers 14-2. He had two brief appearances in the 1976 ALCS against the New York Yankees. At the end of the 1976 season, Stinson was left unprotected and he was drafted by the newly created Seattle Mariners in the 1976 Expansion Draft. He played 577 2/3 innings as catcher for the Royals.

RANK #234 – SHANE COSTA (#32) – Utility Outfield (2005-2007)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 509.16
99th Royals Player in Franchise History

Shane Costa was drafted by the Royals in 2003. He made his major league debut on June 2, 2005. His best season was 2006 when he went .274 with three home runs. By late 2006, he had been moved to a pinch hitter. He was demoted to AAA Omaha in 2007 and was released from the Royals in 2010. Costa hit .254 with five home runs in 154 appearances with the Royals.

RANK #233 – RUBEN GOTAY (#30) – Second Base (2004-2005)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 512.94
589th Royals Player in Franchise History

Ruben Gotay was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2000. He made his major league debut on August 3, 2004 as the replacement at second base for the injured Tony Graffanino. He hit a respectable .270 in his first season with the Royals. He was the opening day second baseman in 2005 for the Royals. During his second season, he played along with a five other players at second base. His batting average dropped dramatically to only .227. His best game came on April 10, 2005 in a 8-3 win against the Anaheim Angels when he went 4-5 with home run and three RBIs. Gotay did not make the Kansas City roster in 2006 and remained at AAA Omaha. By July, he was traded to the New York Mets for Jeff Keppinger. Gotay played 1,034 2/3 innings at second base.

RANK #232 – JOE BECKWITH (#27) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1984-1985)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 514.45
204th Royals Player in Franchise History

Joe Beckwith was traded to the Kansas City Royals from the Los Angeles Dodgers in late 1983 for three minor league players. He became a major component of the bullpen in 1984 when he pitched 100 2/3 innings of primarily long relief. In 1985, Beckwith’s record was only 1-5, but his ERA of 4.07 was respectable and he pitched out of the bullpen 95 innings during the season. Beckwith pitched in Game Four of the 1985 World Series in St. Louis, recording three strikeouts out of seven batters faced in two innings. Beckwith was released from the Royals in early 1986 and picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays. He had a career 3.73 ERA with the Royals and had a 9-9 record.

RANK #231 – DAVID LOUGH (#7) – Right Field (2012-2013)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 517.08
758th Royals Player in Franchise History

David Lough was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2007. He made his major league debut on September 1, 2012. His call-up was not very productive, hitting only .237 in 20 appearances. Lough was called up in May of 2013 to play as a backup outfielder for the injured Jarrod Dyson. He proved so productive at the plate, that he was kept in Kansas City while the Royals released right fielder Jeff Francoeur. His first home run came against Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers on June 11. His best game came on June 30 against the Minnesota Twins. Lough joined George Brett, Hal McRae, Johnny Damon and Lonnie Smith as the fifth Royals player to hit four extra-base hits in a game, hitting three doubles and a home run. Lough was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Danny Valencia after the season after playing 577 2/3 innings in right field in 96 appearances with Kansas City.

RANK #230 – ELLIE RODRIGUEZ (#11) – Catcher (1969-1970)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 521.11
1st Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Jerry Adair, Wally Bunker, Joe Foy, Chuck Harrison, Jackie Hernandez, Ed Kirkpatrick, Bob Oliver, and Lou Piniella)

Ellie Rodriguez was selected from the New York Yankees in the 1968 Expansion Draft. On opening day of 1969, Rodriguez became the first ever catcher for the Kansas City Royals. As the primary catcher for the Royals, he started in 83 games. Despite only batting .236 that season, Rodriguez became the first Royals player selected to the All-Star Game. However he did not have the opportunity to play in the mid-season classic. His best game was on June 9, 1969 when he went 2-4 with a three-run home run in the fifth inning. By 1970, he split time as catcher with Ed Kirkpatrick and by the end of the season, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Carl Taylor. His career batting average with the Royals was .231. He played in 175 games and was the catcher for Kansas City for 1,313 innings.

RANK #229 – MATT WHISENANT (#56) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1997-1999)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 522.20
428th Royals Player in Franchise History

Matt Whisenant was traded from the Florida Marlins to the Kansas City Royals for catcher Matt Treanor in July of 1997. Whisenant, a left-handed pitcher, pitched 19 innings in 24 appearances with the Royals after arriving and posted a 2.84 ERA. In 1998, Whisenant pitched in 70 games and struck out 45 in 60 ⅔ innings. He is credited with 26 holds as a middle relief pitcher in his Royals career and had a career ERA of 5.05. Because of a poor season in 1999, Whisenant was released and picked up by the San Diego Padres.

RANK #228 – D.J. CARRASCO (#59) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2003-2005)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 524.58
540th Royals Player in Franchise History

D.J. Carrasco was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 2002 Rule 5 Draft from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He made his major league debut on April 2, 2003. He pitched in 50 games in the first season of his career with 4.82 ERA and a 6-5 record. He had 57 strikeouts in 80 1/3 innings pitched. Carrasco’s best game was on April 10, 2003 when he pitched three scoreless innings in relief, struck out six and earned the hold. He split his next season between Kansas City and AAA Omaha, only pitching 35 1/3 innings in 30 appearances. In 2005, he was brought up to be in the starting rotation in May. He started 20 games with a 4.79 ERA and a record of 6-8. He pitched a complete game 8-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on June 7, 2005. He was released at the conclusion of the season and he pitched in the Japanese League the following season. He was 14-15 in his career with the Royals with an ERA of 4.81 in 230 1/3 innings pitched.

RANK #227 – MIKE JACOBS (#17) – Designated Hitter (2009)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 526.11
684th Royals Player in Franchise History

Mike Jacobs was traded by the Florida Marlins to the Kansas City Royals for pitcher Leo Nunez. Although Jacobs had been a first baseman for the Marlins, Kansas City opted to play him at designated hitter for most of the season. Jacobs proved that he had power, hitting 19 home runs and 61 RBIs, but he also was an extreme strikeout victim with 132. His batting average was only .228 on the season. On April 17, Jacobs went 2-6 with four RBIs, a double and a home run against the Texas Rangers. On August 17, he went into a game against the Chicago White Sox as a pinch hitter and hit a three-run home run. Jacobs was released at the end of the season and he eventually signed with the New York Mets. He made 128 appearances with Kansas City.

RANK #226 – DOUG MIENTKIEWICZ (#11) – First Base (2006)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 526.44
615th Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Scott Elarton, Mark Grudzielanek, and Reggie Sanders)

Doug Mientkiewicz signed as a free agent in 2005 after playing for the New York Mets. He is one of only five players in major league history to win an Olympic Gold Medal (2000 Sydney) and World Series (2004 Boston Red Sox). His best game was on June 25, 2006 when he went 3-3 with a double, sacrifice fly and three RBIs in a 6-0 win over the Minnesota Twins. He hit .283 for the Royals and was the everyday first baseman until a back injury and surgery ended his season in late July. The Royals chose not to renew his contract and he was signed by the New York Yankees the next year. Mientkiewicz played 724 2/3 innings at first base in 91 appearances.

RANK #225 – JEREMY GIAMBI (#15) – Designated Hitter (1998-1999)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 528.57
448th Royals Player in Franchise History

Jeremy Giambi, younger brother of Jason Giambi, was drafted by the Royals in 1996. Giambi made his major league debut with the Royals on September 1, 1998. After his short stint with the Royals in 1998, Giambi was sent back to AAA Omaha for the beginning of 1999. Giambi was brought back to Kansas City after the demotion of outfielder Larry Sutton. Giambi made 90 appearances with the Royals and hit .285. He did not quite have the power of his brother and only hit three home runs. Most of the 1999 season was as a designated hitter, but he did get some playing time at first base. Giambi was traded to the Oakland Athletics in 2000 in exchange for pitcher Brett Laxton.

RANK #224 – FLOYD BANNISTER (#19) – Starting Pitcher (1988-1989)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 534.69
256th Royals Player in Franchise History

Floyd Bannister was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Dave Cochrane, in exchange for John Davis, Melido Perez, Chuck Mount and Greg Hibbard. Bannister, a veteran and former all-star pitcher, was inserted into the starting rotation for the Royals. In his first season, Bannister started all 31 appearances with an ERA of 4.06 and a record of 12-13. Bannister was a part of an impressive starting rotation of Bret Saberhagen, Charlie Leibrandt and Mark Gubicza, which won 59 games for the Royals in 1988. His best outing was on May 16, 1988 in a 7-6 win over the Texas Rangers. Bannister pitched eight innings, gave up two earned runs and struck out six. Bannister started 14 games in 1989 and recorded a 4-1 record before a season-ending injury. Bannister was released at the end of the season. He was not signed by any major league teams, so he left and pitched in Japan. Floyd Bannister’s son, Brian Bannister, will pitch for the Royals in the 2000s.

RANK #223 – STEVE CRAWFORD (#28) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1989-1991)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 539.49
275th Royals Player in Franchise History

Steve Crawford was signed as a free agent in 1989 to a minor league contract. He was brought up to Kansas City in July and posted a 2.53 ERA in 25 relief appearances. By 1990, Crawford became a regular in the Royals’ bullpen. However, his productivity began to fall as his ERA shot up to 4.83 over the next two seasons, far less than in his heyday with the Boston Red Sox. He played his final major league game with the Royals on October 5, 1991. His career record with the Royals was 11-7 in 104 relief appearances.

RANK #222 – CHRIS GWYNN (#14) – Left Field (1992-1993)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 541.50
324th Royals Player in Franchise History

Chris Gwynn, brother of the late Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with a minor league player, from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Todd Benzinger. Gwynn had played for the 1984 Olympic team that won a silver medal. Gwynn had limited playing time due to injury in his first season. By 1993, Gwynn made 103 appearances for Kansas City, playing primarily as a backup to left fielder Kevin McReynolds. Gwynn hit .300 with 287 at bats. Gwynn was released from the Royals in 1994 and was picked up by his old team, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

RANK #221 – JEFF CONINE (#19) – Left Field (1990-1992, 1998)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 544.76
296th Royals Player in Franchise History

Jeff Conine was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1987. He was called up for his major league debut on September 16, 1990 and played just nine games. He spent all of 1991 in the minor leagues until 1992 when he was called up again for 28 games with the Royals. Conine was then selected in the 1992 Expansion Draft by the newly-created Florida Marlins. He became one of the best-hitting outfielders in the National League until he was traded back to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for a minor league player in 1997. In 1998, Conine platooned in the outfield with Hal Morris, Shane Mack, Johnny Damon and Jermaine Dye. Having earned the nickname “Conine the Barbarian” in the National League, his numbers were not as impressive in the American League. He began the season on the disabled list and he only hit .256 with eight home runs in 93 appearances with the Royals. He was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Pitcher Chris Fussell in early 1999. Conine hit .255 in his time with the Royals.

RANK #220 – SAL FASANO (#26) – Catcher (1996-1999, 2001)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 545.34
396th Royals Player in Franchise History

Sal Fasano was drafted by the Royals in 1993. He made his major league debut in the second game of the 1996 season against the Baltimore Orioles. In his first two seasons, Fasano played backup catcher or played in the minor leagues. On April 3, 1996, Fasano was a part of the fifth triple play in Royals history, with the play going 5-4-3-2. In 1998, Fasano became a regular member of the Royals, backing up Mike Sweeney in the catcher’s position. That year, Fasano lead the team and was second in the American League in being hit by a pitches with 16. His best game with the Royals came on September 11, 1999 in a 9-6 victory over the Texas Rangers. In the game, Fasano went 2-5, both hits were home runs, and he drove in four RBIs. Fasano’s contract was sold to the Oakland Athletics in 2000 and it was repurchased in 2001. He only played three games with Kansas City in 2001 before being traded, along with Mac Suzuki, to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for catcher Brent Mayne. Fasano only hit a career .216 with the Royals, but logged 1,242 2/3 innings as a catcher, ranking him in the top 20 all-time for Kansas City.

RANK #219 – MOE DRABOWSKY (#25) – Closing Pitcher (1969)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 551.55
15th Royals Player in Franchise History

Moe Drabowsky was a veteran pitcher that was acquired by the Royals in the 1968 Expansion Draft. He is only one of four players that played for both the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Athletics. He is credited with the first-ever win in Royals history against the Minnesota Twins on April 8, 1969 at Municipal Stadium. In 1969, despite being a relief pitcher, Drabowsky was second on the team in wins with eleven. He was the first Royals player to earn over ten saves in a season in 1969. He had a career 3.03 ERA in 52 appearances with the Royals and chalked up 114 strikeouts in 133 2/3 innings pitched. Drabowsky was the only Polish-American ever to play for the Royals. He was ultimately traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Bobby Floyd in 1970.

RANK #218 – MIKE BODDICKER (#52) – Starting Pitcher (1991-1992)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 553.02
301st Royals Player in Franchise History

Veteran pitcher Mike Boddicker signed as a free agent in 1990 after playing for the Boston Red Sox. He was a part of the starting rotation of 1991 along with Kevin Appier, Bret Saberhagen and Mark Gubicza. In his first game in Kansas City, Boddicker pitched a complete game in a losing effort to the Cleveland Indians by the score of 2-1. He had a 12-12 record in his first season with the Royals, pitching a 4.08 ERA with 79 strikeouts. Despite his strong start in 1992, Boddicker went on the disabled list in May with an elbow strain. He did not perform well when he returned. In 1992, he lost his first two starts, and it was decided that he would pitch in the bullpen. His season ERA was 4.98. He was 0-4 as a starter with an ERA of 6.69. At the end of the 1992 season, his contract was sold to the Milwaukee Brewers. He finished his Royals career 13-16 in 59 appearances with a 4.38 ERA in 267 1/3 innings pitched.

RANK #217 – BLAKE STEIN (#34) – Starting Pitcher (1999-2002)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 553.18
470th Royals Player in Franchise History

On July 31, 1999, Blake Stein was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Jeff D’Amico and Brad Rigby, by the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Kevin Appier. Stein was placed into the starting rotation for the remainder of the 1999 season. Stein had a 4.09 ERA and a 1-2 record in 12 starts. Stein did not pitch again in the major leagues until July of 2000. He did well for the Royals with an 8-5 record and a 4.68 record. Stein struggled in 2001 with an 8.10 ERA by the end of April and he was sent to the bullpen. Stein did continue to spot start for the Royals for the rest of the season. On June 17, 2001 against the Milwaukee Brewers, Stein tied an American League record held by Nolan Ryan with eight consecutive strikeouts. Regrettably, Stein took the loss even though he had 11 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. His last season with Royals was by far his worst. Stein split time with AAA Omaha, and only had 7.91 ERA in 25 appearances and two starts. He was released by the Royals in early September and was picked up by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Stein never made it to the big leagues again. He had a 5.01 career ERA with the Royals and a record of 16-19 in 355 2/3 career innings pitched.

RANK #216 – ROB TEJEDA (#51) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2008-2011)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 559.73
678th Royals Player in Franchise History

Rob Tejada was acquired off waivers from the Texas Rangers in June of 2008. He made a very positive impact to the bullpen with a 3.20 ERA. He suffered an injury in 2009 and finished the season 4-2 with six starts and 29 relief appearances. He pitched in 54 relief appearances in 2010 with 56 strikeouts in 61 innings pitched. With a bad start in 2011, Tejada was sent to AAA Omaha for the remainder of the season. He was released at the end of the season and signed with the Cleveland Indians. He finished his major league career with the Royals pitching in 123 games.

RANK #215 – STEVE HOVLEY (#30) – Utility Outfield (1972-1973)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 560.68
63rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Steve Hovley was acquired in the Rule 5 Draft from the Oakland Athletics in late 1971. In his two seasons with the Royals, he played as a backup outfielder, primarily left field and center field. He also was called upon to pinch hit or pinch run many times. Hovley’s career average was .262. His career-best game came on June 30, 1973 when Hovley, pinch hitting for Freddie Patek, hit a three-run home run to put the game out of reach from the Texas Rangers. Hovley ended his major league career with the Royals in 1973 having played 209 games.

RANK #214 – PAULO ORLANDO (#16) – Utility Outfield (2015-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 562.89
802nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Paulo Orlando was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Horacio Ramirez in 2008. Orlando was a track star in his home country of Brazil before becoming a baseball player. He spent nine years in the minor leagues before finally making the 25-man Opening Day roster for the Royals in 2015. He made his major league debut on April 9, 2015 against the Chicago White Sox and becoming only the third Brazilian-born baseball player in major league history. In his first major league at bat, Orlando hit a triple into center field. In his next game on April 12, he hit two more triples, becoming the first player in major league history to hit three triples as his first three hits. On April 20, he hit his fifth triple, becoming the fastest player to hit five triples to begin his career. Orlando was demoted to AAA Omaha in June after his batting average dropped to .237. In July, he was recalled and he hit .256 from July 7 to the end of the season. The day of his return, Orlando hit a walk-off grand slam against the Tampa Bay Rays. He made the postseason roster for the Royals as a backup outfielder. During the ALCS, Orlando was 2-2 with two runs against the Toronto Blue Jays. He was primarily used as a defensive replacement for Alex Rios in right field during the postseason. His efforts helped the Royals to their fourth World Series. On November 1, 2015, the Royals won the World Series and Orlando became the first-ever Brazilian born player to be on a World Series Championship team. He hit .249 in his first season with the Royals. Orlando is currently playing for Kansas City.

RANK #213 – KEN WRIGHT (#28) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1970-1973)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 564.76
43rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Ken Wright was acquired from the Boston Red Sox in the 1969 Rule 5 Draft. Wright pitched 53 1/3 innings in 47 relief appearances in his first season, recording three saves. Over the next two seasons, Wright spent time at AAA Omaha as well as Kansas City. In 1971, he made 12 starts and improved his ERA to 3.69. In 1973, Wright had 12 starts again out of 25 appearances, but was injured in the latter half of the season. His best game came April 26, 1973 when he pitched eight innings without a decision, striking out 10 and giving up only two earned runs. At the end of the season, Wright was traded, along with Lou Piniella, to the New York Yankees in exchange for pitcher Lindy McDaniel. Wright pitched a total of 230 1/3 innings in 110 appearances for the Royals.

RANK #212 – REGGIE SANDERS (#16) – Right Field (2006-2007)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 567.79
615th Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Scott Elarton, Mark Grudzielanek, and Doug Mientkiewicz)

Veteran outfielder Reggie Sanders signed with the Kansas City Royals in 2006 after playing with the St. Louis Cardinals. Sanders shared time in right field with Emil Brown, logging 601 innings in that position. He hit .246 with 11 home runs in his first season with the Royals. On June 10, 2006, Sanders hit the 300th home run of his career against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, becoming only the fifth player in baseball history with over 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases. In early May of 2007, Sanders sustained a major injury that sidelined him for most of the season. At the end of 2007, Sanders became a free agent, although he would not play in the major leagues again. He hit .259 with the Kansas City Royals.

RANK #211 – LARRY SUTTON (#22) – Utility Outfield (1997-1999)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 572.40
429th Royals Player in Franchise History

Larry Sutton was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1992 and he made his major league debut with the Royals on August 17, 1997. In 1998, Sutton was picked to be the right fielder on opening day for the Royals against the Baltimore Orioles. Sutton hit .245 platooning between right field and left field. Sutton was picked as the designated hitter on opening day in 1999, but his season started off rough. The one bright spot for Sutton was his only career grand slam on May 1, 1999 against the New York Yankees. However, Sutton was sent down to AAA Omaha after only hitting .215 by the month of June. He returned to the team in September for a few games, but his offensive numbers never were the same. Sutton was granted free agency at the end of the 1999 season and he was picked up by the St. Louis Cardinals. Sutton was a career .247 hitter over 181 games for the Royals.

RANK #210 – GERALD PERRY (#17) – Designated Hitter (1990)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 572.76
279th Royals Player in Franchise History

Gerald Perry was traded by the Atlanta Braves to the Kansas City Royals for pitchers Charlie Leibrandt and Rick Luecken in 1989. Perry split time with the Royals between first base and designated hitter. He hit .254 for the season with eight home runs. He split time at first base with George Brett and he platooned at DH with Brett and Danny Tartabull. His best game came on May 8, 1990 when he hit a grand slam off of Texas’ Nolan Ryan in the first inning to help give the Royals a 10-5 win. Perry was granted free agency at the end of the season and he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals after the 1990 season. Perry made 513 plate appearances over 133 games with Kansas City.

RANK #209 – TERRENCE LONG (#3) – Left Field (2005)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 575.12
597th Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Mark Teahen)

Terrence Long was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Dennis Tankersley and cash, for Ryan Bukvich and Darrell May in 2004. He was the opening day left fielder for the Royals in 2005. He hit .279 for the season with six home runs. His best game came on June 11, 2005 in a 8-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, when he went 3-4 with three RBIs. His contract was not renewed and he signed a contract with the Cincinnati Reds in 2006. Long played 794 innings that season for the Kansas City Royals over 137 games.

RANK #208 – JASON VARGAS (#51) – Starting Pitcher (2014-2015)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 576.65
779th Royals Player in Franchise History

Jason Vargas signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Royals after playing with the Los Angeles Angels. Vargas signed for a five-year deal after the departure of Ervin Santana. Vargas joined Danny Duffy as the only left handers in the rotation. He made an immediate impact, pitching 2.42 in the month of April. He was considered to have the best changeup in the major leagues for a left-hander. On July 8, after pitching against Tampa Bay, Vargas was placed on the disabled list because of an emergency appendectomy. When he returned, he had his best game on August 13 when he pitched a 3-0 complete game shutout of the Oakland Athletics. Vargas struggled in September, but was able to help the Royals make their first playoff berth in 29 years. During the playoffs, Vargas pitched brilliantly with a 2.38 ERA and a victory against the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS. Unfortunately, Vargas’ performance in the World Series was not as successful, only pitching four innings and giving up three earned runs against the San Francisco Giants. During the beginning of the 2015 season, Vargas had a 5-2 record despite having a 3.98 ERA. Unfortunately, injuries took its toll and an elbow injury ended his season. Vargas is currently still on the Kansas City Royals, having pitched 230 innings. He will miss the entire 2016 season due to his elbow injury.

RANK #207 – BOB BOONE (#8) – Catcher (1989-1990)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 578.28
269th Royals Player in Franchise History

Former all-star veteran catcher Bob Boone signed with the Kansas City Royals in 1988 after playing with the California Angels for seven years. His father, Ray Boone, had briefly played for the old Kansas City Athletics in 1959. Boone was the Royals’ opening day catcher and primary catcher for the season. He had a respectable .274 batting average for the season. Boone led the American League in games as a catcher that season. He was also first in the league in putouts by a catcher, second in assists, first in pickoffs. His defensive prowess earned him his seventh Gold Glove award as a catcher. He became the first Royals catcher ever to earn such an honor. His best offensive game came on June 28, 1989 in a 12-7 win over the Seattle Mariners in which Boone went 2-4 with four RBIs. Unfortunately, Boone suffered a broken finger 1990 which shortened his season and led to his retirement from baseball. Boone would return to Kansas City as its manager between 1995 and 1997. He played in 171 games and appeared as catcher in 1,417 innings.

RANK #206 – RYAN SHEALY (#43) – First Base (2006-2008)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 592.27
636th Royals Player in Franchise History

In July of 2006, the Colorado Rockies traded Ryan Shealy was to the Kansas City Royals, along with Scott Dohmann, for Jeremy Affeldt and Denny Bautista. He replaced first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz after he had a season-ending injury. Shealy made an immediate impact, hitting .280 with seven home runs. On September 16, 2006, Shealy hit his first grand slam against the Seattle Mariners. He was the opening day first baseman in 2007, but performed poorly, only hitting .221 with three home runs. Shealy was demoted to AAA Omaha at the end of June. He only played a few games when brought up in September of 2008. Shealy was released in 2009 and picked up by the Tampa Bay Rays. He hit .260 with the Royals in 123 games and logged 1,043 innings at first base.

RANK #205 – SCOTT PODSEDNIK (#22) – Left Field (2010)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 594.26
702nd Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Chris Getz and Jason Kendall)

Scott Podsednik signed with the Kansas City Royals as a free agent in 2010 after playing for the Chicago White Sox. Podsednik became the starting left fielder for the Kansas City Royals. He had a .310 batting average with 30 stolen bases and five home runs. His best game came on May 6, 2010 against the Texas Rangers. Podsednik went 2-4 with a home run, two stolen bases and four RBIs. The Royals, however, decided to trade Podsednik in late July to the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitcher Lucas May and a minor league player after playing 806 1/3 innings in left field over 95 games.

RANK #204 – MIKE FIORE (#19) – First Base (1969-1970)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 596.91
21st Royals Player in Franchise History

Mike Fiore was drafted by the Kansas City Royals from the Baltimore Orioles in the 1968 Expansion Draft. Although not in the opening day lineup, Fiore became the primary first baseman for the Royals in their first season. He hit .274 with 12 home runs in 1969. On April 13, 1969, in the first game of a doubleheader, Fiore became the first Royals player to hit a homerun. The shot was hit off of Oakland Athletics pitcher Blue Moon Odom. By 1970, Bob Oliver became the Royals’ choice at first base, so Fiore was traded in May to the Boston Red Sox for infielder Tommy Matchick. Fiore ended his Royals career batting .258 with 12 home runs, playing 784 1/3 innings at first base.

RANK #203 – LOUIS COLEMAN (#31) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2011-2015)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 599.04
732nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Louis Coleman was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2009. He made his major league debut on April 21, 2011. Coleman had an outstanding season in 2011, pitching a 2.87 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 59 2/3 innings pitched. In 2012, he continued to have success with 65 strikeouts in 51 innings pitched. Coleman began the 2013 season in the minor leagues, but was brought back to Kansas City in late May. Once he was back with the Royals, relief appearances were remarkable, earning a 3-0 record with only an ERA of 0.61 in 29 2/3 innings pitched. Coleman could not repeat the success in the 2014 season. Despite making the roster on opening day, Coleman’s performance was disappointing. By the end of May, he had a 6.27 ERA and was sent down to AAA Omaha. He was brought back briefly between June and August, but his command was not there. Coleman returned to the bullpen in September and pitched 2.38 ERA in 11 games, but did not make the post-season roster. In 2015, he was recalled in September and made four appearances. After the season, he was released by the Royals and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Coleman made 152 pitching appearances with Kansas City.

RANK #202 – GREGG ZAUN (#44) – Catcher (2000-2001)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 599.69
478th Royals Player in Franchise History

Gregg Zaun was sent to the Kansas City Royals by the Detroit Tigers for future considerations. He is the nephew of long-time catcher Rick Dempsey of the Baltimore Orioles. Zaun hit .274 in his first year with the Royals, with seven home runs in 83 appearances. His best game came on July 22, 2000 in an 8-5 win over the Detroit Tigers, hitting 2-5 with three RBIs and a double. Zaun, however, lost his spot on the roster in 2002 to newly acquired Hector Ortiz and A.J. Hinch. He came up in July of 2002 after injuries to Ortiz and the demotion of Hinch. Zaun batted an astounding .320. Zaun became a free agent at the end of the season and signed with the Houston Astros. Zaun hit .290 in his time with the Royals.

RANK #201 – HAL MORRIS (#23) – Utility Player (1998)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 603.32
434th Royals Player in Franchise History

Hal Morris signed as a free agent to the Kansas City Royals in 1997 after playing for the Cincinnati Reds. He played left field on opening day in 1998, but split his time almost evenly between first base, left field and designated hitter throughout the season. He hit .309 over 521 plate appearances for the season, but only had one home run and 40 RBIs. His best game, playing as designated hitter, was on April 30, 1998 in a 7-4 over the Toronto Blue Jays. Morris hit 2-5 with three RBIs and a double. He did not re-sign with the Royals at the conclusion of the season and reunited with the Cincinnati Reds in 1999.

RANK #200 – JACKIE HERNANDEZ (#24) – Shortstop (1969-1970)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 604.07
1st Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Jerry Adair, Wally Bunker, Joe Foy, Chuck Harrison, Ed Kirkpatrick, Bob Oliver, Lou Piniella, and Ellie Rodriguez)

Jackie Hernandez was the first shortstop in Royals history. He was acquired by the Royals in the 1968 Expansion Draft. In his first season with the Royals, he hit only a .222 batting average while starting in 139 games at shortstop. His best game came on May 3, 1969 when Hernandez hit his first home run for Kansas City and drove in three RBIs. By 1970, Hernandez split time with Tom Matchick and Rich Severson at shortstop, batting .231 average. At the end of the 1970 season, Hernandez was traded, along with pitcher Bob Johnson and catcher Jim Campanis for Freddie Patek, Bruce Dal Canton and Jerry May of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Hernandez played 1,819 innings at shortstop over 228 games with Kansas City.

RANK #199 – NEIFI PEREZ (#8) – Shortstop (2001-2002)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 611.72
510th Royals Player in Franchise History

Neifi Perez was involved in one of the most hated trades in Royals history. He was traded by the Colorado Rockies for all-star Jermaine Dye. At the same time, star shortstop Rey Sanchez was traded to the Atlanta Braves, making room for Perez. Perez had won the Gold Glove in the National League the previous year, but only hit .241 with the Royals in the latter half of the 2001 season. He became the everyday shortstop in 2002, but his numbers languished in all categories. He only hit .236 for the season with three home runs. He also had a strained relationship with manager Tony Pena. He even refused to play in a late-season game despite being requested to by the manager. He was released by the Royals at the end of the season and claimed off waivers by the San Francisco Giants. Perez played 1,605 1/3 innings at shortstop over 194 games.

RANK #198 – TONY PENA, JR. (#1) – Shortstop (2007-2009)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 612.03
645th Royals Player in Franchise History

Tony Pena, Jr., son of catcher-great and former Royals Manager Tony Pena, Sr., was traded to the Kansas City Royals for a minor league player in 2007. Pena immediately became the everyday shortstop for the Royals, starting in 145 games in his first season. On opening day, Pena hit two triples in a 7-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox. He became only the sixth player ever to accomplish this feat on opening day. Pena hit .267 in his first season with the Royals. His best game came July 8, 2007 in a 12-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Pena went 3-5 with three doubles and four RBIs. In 2008, however, Pena was overshadowed by rookie Mike Aviles who was hitting .325 with 10 home runs. Pena was moved to a backup role and his batting average dropped to .165. On July 21, 2008, Pena was placed in a pitching situation against the Detroit Tigers, making one strikeout of Ivan Rodriguez. His 2009 season did not fare much better in terms of offensive performance and Pena was designated for assignment by mid-July. He had a .228 career batting average for the Royals and is 10th all-time for innings played at shortstop with 2,031 2/3 innings over 287 games.

RANK #197 – SCOTT SERVICE (#48) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1997-1999)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 613.03
430th Royals Player in Franchise History

In mid-July of 1997, Scott Service was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Hector Carrasco, by the Cincinnati Red in exchange for Jon Nunnally and Chris Stynes. Service had limited time with the Royals in his first half-season with the Royals, splitting time with Kansas City and AAA Omaha. In 1998, Service became a major component of the Royals bullpen, pitching in 73 games with a 3.48 ERA and a 6-4 record. Service fanned 95 strikeouts in 82 ⅔ innings. His best game came on August 12, 1998 when Service earned the win in three innings of relief against the Boston Red Sox. In this game, he had five strikeouts and did not have any earned runs. He continued to be a major part of the bullpen in 1999, pitching 75 1/3 innings in 68 games. However, his ERA shot up to 6.09 and his strikeout rate dropped by one-third. Service was released by the Royals at the conclusion of the 1999 season and was picked up by the Oakland Athletics. He had a 4.73 ERA with the Royals and a career record of 11-12 over 153 appearances.

RANK #196 – NORI AOKI (#23) – Right Field (2014)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 620.13
777th Royals Player in Franchise History

Norichika Aoki was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for pitcher Will Smith. Aoki had played in the Japanese League and is one of only four players ever to have over 200 hits in a single season in Japan. Nori was picked up by the Milwaukee Brewers and played there for two seasons before coming to Kansas City. Aoki brought speed and a consistent bat to the Royals. He was known for his unorthodox style of slap-hitting and was a successful lead-off runner for the Royals. Aoki was an excellent fielder who won two Gold Gloves in Japan. From May 10 to the end of the season, Aoki set a club record for the most innings, 673, without an error in the outfield. On August 5, 2014, Aoki hit his first career grand slam against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Between September 15 and 19, Aoki broke George Brett’s record by successfully reaching base 13 straight plate appearances in a three-game series with the Chicago White Sox. His skills in the outfield helped contribute to the Royals having the best defensive team in major league baseball. Aoki helped the Royals make their first playoff appearance in 29 years. His performance in the post-season was lackluster with a .195 batting average. However, his is defence in right field was outstanding. He hit .285 with 17 stolen bases for the season. After just one season with the Royals, Aoki signed with the San Francisco Giants as a free agent. He logged 937 1/3 innings in right field.

RANK #195 – KEITH MILLER (#16) – Second Base (1992-1995)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 622.12
323rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Keith Miller was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Kevin McReynolds, by the New York Mets for pitcher Bret Saberhagen and utility player Bill Pecota. The trade outraged many Royals fans because they did not want to see the departure of Saberhagen from Kansas City. Miller filled the void left by the departing Terry Shumpert at second base. His offense was quite an improvement, hitting .284 with four home runs and 16 stolen bases. It was the best season of his career. He earned the name “pigpen” by his teammates for his hustle on the field. His best game came on June 8, 1992 in a 9-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins, hitting 4-4 with a home run and four RBIs. With the acquisition of Jose Lind in 1993, Miller was used as a utility player, only playing in 37 games and batting only .167. He injured himself on opening day and was placed on the disabled list for much of April. Miller only played 14 games in 1994 and 1995 combined. He would be released in mid-May of 1995. He hit .258 with the Royals.

RANK #194 – GREG PRYOR (#4) – Third Base (1982-1986)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 623.22
177th Royals Player in Franchise History

Greg Pryor was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Jeff Schattinger. Pryor began his career as an infield utility player. He hit .270 in his first season with the Royals in 73 appearances. His best game came on May 12, 1982 in a 10-7 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers when he went 3-3 with a walk, a double and three RBIs. Pryor slumped in 1983 hitting only .217 for Kansas City. However, in 1984, George Brett began the season injured and Greg Pryor was picked to be the everyday third baseman and the first player other than Brett to start at third base on opening day since 1975. Pryor hit .263 for the season and returned to his utility duties upon Brett’s return. The 1985 and 1986 seasons did not go well for Pryor. He only hit .195 over the two seasons. He did make appearances in the 1984 ALCS and the 1985 World Series. Pryor was released by the Royals in 1987 and he retired from major league baseball. He is currently 10th all-time in innings played at third base with 1,519 1/3 innings over 390 games played.

RANK #193 – KIRK GIBSON (#30) – Left Field (1991)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 624.93
300th Royals Player in Franchise History

Veteran Kirk Gibson signed with the Royals as a free agent after playing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Although he was the opening day designated hitter, Gibson primarily played left field. Despite only hitting .236, Gibson hit 16 home runs, had 18 stolen bases and 55 RBIs. On June 19, 1991, Gibson hit a grand slam home run against the Texas Rangers. He played a quarter of his games as a designated hitter for the Royals. Otherwise, he logged 759 1/3 innings in left field for the Royals. At the conclusion of the 1991 season, Gibson was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Neal Heaton.

RANK #192 – DAN REICHERT (#41) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1999-2002)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 626.34
481st Royals Player in Franchise History

Dan Reichert was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1997. He made his major league debut on July 16, 1999. Reichert only made eight starts in 1999 with a very high 9.08 ERA. He returned in 2000, splitting his time as a starter and relief pitcher. His ERA improved to 4.70 and his record was 8-10. His best game came on July 21, 2000 in a complete game shutout of the Detroit Tigers by the score of 4-0. Over the next two seasons, he split his time with 25 starts in 57 appearances. His ERA rose above 5.00 over the 2001 and 2002 seasons. He was released by the Royals and claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He ended his Royals career with a 5.53 ERA in 379 innings pitched and a 21-25 record.

RANK #191 – JON NUNNALLY (#22) – Right Field (1995-1997)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 626.97
363rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Jon Nunnally was selected in the Rule 5 Draft by the Kansas City Royals from the Cleveland Indians in 1994. Nunnally hit .244 in his first season with the Royals with 14 home runs. In his first major league at bat on April 29, 1995 against the Yankees, Nunnally became only the 70th player to hit a homerun in his first major league at bat, accomplishing it in the leadoff spot in the bottom of the first inning. His best game came on June 8, 1995 against the Texas Rangers. Nunnally went 3-4 with a homerun and three RBIs. Over the next two seasons, Nunnally played the majority of his time at AAA Omaha with only brief appearances in Kansas City. In July of 1997, Nunnally was traded, along with Chris Stynes, to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Scott Service and Hector Carrasco. He finished his Royals career with a .237 batting average and 20 home runs in 167 games played.

RANK #190 – DAVE MCCARTY (#6) – First Base (2000-2002)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 631.98
481st Royals Player in Franchise History

The Oakland Athletics sold the contract of Dave McCarty in 2000. His first season with the Kansas City Royals, McCarty played a career-high 103 games, primarily as a first baseman or pinch hitter. He hit .278 with 12 home runs. On July 19, McCarty hit a grand slam home run off of Chuck Finley of the Cleveland Indians. In 2001, McCarty became a backup to Mike Sweeney at first base, hitting a .250 batting average with seven home runs. Unfortunately, McCarty took a big downturn in 2002 when he went 3 for 32 at the plate. The Royals released McCarty in mid-May and his contract was picked up by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He was a career .255 hitter over 214 games played with the Royals.

RANK #189 – GAIL HOPKINS (#18) – First Base (1971-1973)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 635.92
54th Royals Player in Franchise History

Gail Hopkins, along with minor league player John Matias, were traded to the Kansas City Royals in 1970 from the Chicago White Sox for Pat Kelly and Don O’Riley. Although playing more innings at first base than anyone else, Hopkins split time with Bob Oliver and Chuck Harrison. He had a .278 batting average with nine home runs in his first season with the Royals. His best game came May 9, 1971 in a 6-2 win over the Detroit Tigers when he 2-5 with a triple, a home run and four RBIs. In 1972, the Royals acquired John Mayberry, which greatly reduced Hopkins’ playing time. Most of his appearances in that season were as a pinch hitter. With the new rule changes to the American League, Hopkins found more playing time as designated hitter in 1973. His average improved to .246. He was released after the 1973 season and went on to play one more major league season with the Los Angeles Dodgers before retiring. Hopkins played a total of 230 games with Kansas City.

RANK #188 – JOE VITIELLO (#32) – Designated Hitter (1995-1999)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 637.40
367th Royals Player in Franchise History

Joe Vitiello was a first round draft pick by the Kansas City Royals in 1991. He made his major league debut on April 29, 1995. Between 1995 and 1996, Vitiello split his time in Kansas City and AAA Omaha, despite being the opening day designated hitter. During those two seasons, he only batted .245. In 1996, he again was on the opening day roster, but the Royals decided to give him more fielding duties as an outfielder. But by 1998, he spent the majority of his time in the minor leagues with only a few games in Kansas City. He was granted free agency in 1999 and signed with the San Diego Padres. Vitiello is 13th all-time in Kansas City with 440 plate appearances as a designated hitter in 205 games played.

RANK #187 – LUIS ALICEA (#12) – Second Base (2001-2002)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 640.41
500th Royals Player in Franchise History

Luis Alicea signed as a free agent to the Kansas City Royals in 2001 after playing with the Texas Rangers. The veteran primarily played second base and third base. He received a lot of playing time in 2001 at second base for the injured Carlos Febles, logging over 500 innings in the position. He hit a respectable .274 batting average over the course of his first season in Kansas City with four home runs and eight stolen bases. However, by 2002, his offensive output dropped to .228 batting average. Alicea retired after the 2002 season having played in 99 career games at second base with the Royals.

RANK #186 – RENIE MARTIN (#27) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1979-1981)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 649.43
137th Royals Player in Franchise History

Renie Martin was drafted by the Royals in 1977. He made his major league debut on May 9, 1979. Martin pitched 34 2/3 innings in 25 appearances in 1979 with a lofty ERA of 5.19. In 1980, the Royals took a chance and made him a starter in May. From May to the middle of July, Martin had a 4.60 ERA in 15 starts with a 7-6 record. He was moved back to the bullpen until September when he was placed in the starting rotation once again. His best game came on September 18, 1980 in a crucial playoff race matchup with the California Angels. Martin pitched eight innings with five strikeouts and only one earned run in a 5-2 win over the Angels. He had three relief appearances in the 1980 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies and pitched 9 2/3 innings, only giving up three earned runs. In 1981, Martin had a fantastic start in a relief role, pitching in 29 games with a 2.77 ERA during the shortened strike season. Martin was traded, along with Craig Chamberlain, Atlee Hammaker and Brad Wellman to the San Francisco Giants for pitchers Bob Tufts and Vida Blue. Martin finished his Royals career with a 4.08 ERA in 233 2/3 innings.

RANK #185 – JIM COLBORN (#48) – Starting Pitcher (1977-1978)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 649.61
119th Royals Player in Franchise History

In 1977, Jim Colborn was traded by the Milwaukee Brewers, along with Darrell Porter, to the Kansas City Royals for Jim Wohlford, Jamie Quirk and Bob McClure. Colborn was placed in the starting rotation alongside Dennis Leonard, Paul Splittorff and Andy Hassler. Colborn had a 3.62 ERA with 103 strikeouts over 239 innings pitched. His record of 18-14 was second only to Leonard. On May 14, 1977, Colborn became the first Royals pitcher to pitch a no-hitter in Royals Stadium against the Texas Rangers, winning the game 6-0. He was also known as one of the best fielding pitchers in baseball. He pitched only eight games the following season before he was traded to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for outfielder Steve Braun.

RANK #184 – JERRY MARTIN (#25) – Right Field (1982-1983)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 649.98
171st Royals Player in Franchise History

Jerry Martin was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the San Francisco Giants in exchange for pitchers Rich Gale and Bill Laskey. Martin got off to a hot start, batting .300 by mid-May. He became the Royals everyday right fielder. He hit 15 home runs during the season. His best game came May 4, 1982 in a losing effort against the Milwaukee Brewers when he hit 3-4 with a home run and four RBIs. Unfortunately, in April of 1983, a muscle tear in his wrist ended his season. He was granted free agency at the end of the season because of his involvement with a FBI cocaine sting. Martin, along with Willie Aikens, Willie Wilson and Vida Blue were sent to Federal prison for three months. They became the first major league players to go to prison during their careers. Martin was eventually picked up by the New York Mets. He played 1,240 innings in right field for Kansas City.

RANK #183 – WILLIE BLOOMQUIST (#8) – Utility Player (2009-2010)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 654.90
687th Royals Player in Franchise History

Willie Bloomquist signed as a free agent in 2009 after playing for the Seattle Mariners. Bloomquist played most of the season in the outfield, but he also played shortstop and second base. Bloomquist demonstrated very well that he could play any position with Kansas City, playing every fielding position except pitcher and catcher. He hit .265 in his first season with 25 stolen bases, however he only hit 29 RBIs. His best game came on June 13, 2009 in a 7-4 win against the Cincinnati Reds when he hit 3-4 with three RBIs. He continued his utility role in 2010 with a .265 average and three home runs. However, his contract was sold to the Cincinnati Reds in September of 2010. He played in 197 games for Kansas City.

RANK #182 – RICHIE SCHEINBLUM (#5) – Right Field (1972, 1974)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 661.43
66th Royals Player in Franchise History

Richie Scheinblum’s contract was sold to the Kansas City Royals in 1971 from the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers. In his previous five major league seasons, Scheinblum played very little and only had a .208 batting average. However, 1972 turned out the be the best season of his career. After right fielder Bob Oliver was traded to California, Scheinblum became an everyday player. He was hitting .331 by Independence Day and he was picked to represent the Kansas City Royals in the 1972 All-Star Game in Atlanta. His offensive output dropped somewhat after the All-Star break, but he finished the season with a .300 batting average and only 40 strikeouts to 58 base on balls. During the season, Scheinblum, a Jewish-American baseball player, decided to wear a black armband in remembrance of the Israeli Olympians who were killed by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Olympics in Munich, West Germany. Scheinblum was traded at the end of the season, along with Roger Nelson, to the Cincinnati Reds for outfielder Hal McRae and pitcher Wayne Simpson. After splitting the 1973 season between Cincinnati and California, he was traded back to the Kansas City Royals for third baseman Paul Schaal in 1974. This second time with the Royals, Scheinblum had nowhere near the production he had in 1972, only batting .181 with two RBIs in 83 at bats. In early August, his contract was sold to the St. Louis Cardinals where he finished his career that year. Richie Scheinblum became the last player to wear the number “5” for the Royals other than Hall of Famer George Brett.

RANK #181 – ANDY HASSLER (#16) – Starting Pitcher (1976-1978)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 665.55
109th Royals Player in Franchise History

The Kansas City Royals purchased Andy Hassler’s contract from the California Angels in July of 1976. Between May 4, 1974 and July 31, 1976, Hassler had lost 18 straight games with the Angels and Royals combined. Finally, on August 5, 1976, he earned his first victory over the Chicago White Sox in the first game of a doubleheader by the score of 9-2. He finished the 1976 season with a 2.89 ERA in 19 appearances. Unfortunately, Hassler did not perform well in the 1976 ALCS going 0-1 in two games with a 6.14 ERA. In 1977, Hassler became a part of the starting rotation of the Royals earning nine wins, three complete games and one shutout. Again, though, he did not perform well in the 1977 playoffs and went 0-1 in one start against the Yankees. In 1978, Hassler continued to perform poorly and in mid-June, his contract was sold to the Boston Red Sox. He finished his Royals career with a 3.81 ERA. His overall record in Kansas City was 15-16 in 50 starts during 314 1/3 innings pitched.

RANK #180 – GARY THURMAN (#25) – Utility Outfield (1987-1992)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 668.84
250th Royals Player in Franchise History

Gary Thurman was drafted in the first round in 1983. He made his major league debut with the Royals on August 30, 1987 against the Chicago White Sox. His first two seasons saw only limited appearances in Kansas City, playing the majority of his time in AAA Omaha. In his 1989 season, Thurman made 72 appearance with the Royals as defensive relief or as a pinch runner. He had 16 stolen bases in 16 chances. He had a short stay in Kansas City during April of 1990 before being sent to the minor leagues. He was brought back in September with limited playing time. The 1991 season was his best, with 80 appearances as a backup outfielder batting .277 with 15 stolen bases. The next year, Thurman saw more playing time in Kansas City, but his batting average slipped in mid-June. He was released prior to the season in 1993 and picked up off waivers by the Detroit Tigers. Thurman hit .245 in 325 appearances with the Kansas City Royals.

RANK #179 – JOSE LIND (#13) – Second Base (1993-1995)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 678.95
342nd Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Greg Gagne and Felix Jose)

Jose Lind was traded to the Kansas City Royals from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Joel Johnston and Dennis Moeller. His cousin was former Kansas City shortstop Onix Concepcion. Lind would become the starting second baseman for the Royals over the next three seasons. In his first month with the Royals, Lind was batting .297 with 10 RBIs in 20 games. He was sometimes known as “Chico” Lind because of his playful behavior. Lind had won the National League Gold Glove the previous year and was now considered one of the top defensive second basemen of the American League. He ended the season with a .248 batting average. His offensive output improved in 1994, but the season was cut short by the baseball strike. Sometime before the 1995 season, Lind was having personal problems. His wife had left him and he began using cocaine. After a game with the Texas Rangers on May 31, 1995, Lind left the Royals. He was released by mid-July and was picked up by the California Angels. He only played 15 games with the Angels before ending his major league career. Lind is eighth all-time in innings played at second base with 2,141 2/3. Jose Lind’s career batting average with the Kansas City was .258.

RANK #178 – JOE FOY (#22) – Third Base (1969)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 679.04
1st Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Jerry Adair, Wally Bunker, Chuck Harrison, Jackie Hernandez, Ed Kirkpatrick, Bob Oliver, Lou Piniella, and Ellie Rodriguez)

Joe Foy was the first Royals player to play at third base. He was selected from the Boston Red Sox in the 1968 Expansion Draft. Foy hit .262 in his only season with the Royals and started in 107 games at third base. He also spot-played every position except pitcher and catcher in the Royals’ inaugural season. During the season, he had a career high 71 RBIs and 37 stolen bases. Perhaps his best games with the Royals came on May 4, 1969 against the California Angels. In the game, he went 2-4, scored two runs, hit a home run, and batted in three RBIs. He finished the season 5th in the American League in stolen bases and fourth in the league in fielding percentage as a third baseman. At the end of the season, Foy was involved in one of the most important trades in Royals history when he was traded to the New York Mets for starting pitcher Bob Johnson and center fielder Amos Otis. He played 968 1/3 innings at third base for the season.

RANK #177 – BRAYAN PENA (#27) – Catcher (2009-2012)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 679.99
690th Royals Player in Franchise History

Brayan Pena was claimed off waivers from the Atlanta Braves in May of 2008, but was immediately designated for assignment with the AAA Omaha Royals. Pena split time with Kansas City and AAA Omaha, being called up to play as backup catcher to Miguel Olivo in place of the injured John Buck. He hit .263 with six home runs in 64 appearances. By 2010, he was the sole backup catcher to Jason Kendall for nearly all of the season. In September, starter Jason Kendall was on the disabled list and Pena took over as the starter. In 2011, the Royals acquired another starting catcher, Matt Treanor. Pena took over the starting role when Treanor became injured in July. In 2012, the Royals had two backup catchers with Pena and Humberto Quintero to rookie sensation Salvador Perez. At the conclusion of the 2012 season, Pena was granted free agency and he signed with the Detroit Tigers. Pena hit .251 with the Kansas City Royals in 1,505 2/3 innings at catcher.

RANK #176 – DARRELL MAY (#34) – Starting Pitcher (2002-2004)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 680.81
522nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Darrell May signed as a free agent for the Kansas City Royals after playing four years in Japan. May struggled in his first season, starting 21 games in 30 appearances and only posting a 5.35 ERA and a 4-10 record. However, May had a big turnaround in 2003, starting in 32 games with a 10-8 record with a 3.77 ERA, striking out 115. His best game came July 2, 2003 when he pitched a complete game victory against the Cleveland Indians, giving up just two earned runs with three strikeouts. Despite having poor run support, Darrell May was one of the top 10 pitchers in the American League in 2003. Unfortunately, his 2003 success did not carry over to the following season. Although May was fifth in the American League in complete games, his ERA shot up to 5.61 and he had the worst win-loss record in the American League with 9-19 record. After the 2004 season, May was traded, along with Ryan Bukvich, to the San Diego Padres for Terrence Long and Dennis Tankersley. May had a 23-37 record with Kansas City and a career era of 4.81 in 527 1/3 innings pitched.

RANK #175 – MIKE ARMSTRONG (#31) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1982-1983)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 683.00
179th Royals Player in Franchise History

Mike Armstrong was purchased from the San Diego Padres in 1982. In Kansas City, Armstrong pitched 110 games in middle relief for two seasons, many of which were as a set-up man for closer Dan Quisenberry. Armstrong’s most memorable game came in 1983 when he was the winning pitcher in the famous “Pine Tar Incident” game on July 24, 1983. After the successful protest by the Kansas City Royals, Armstrong and the Royals resumed the game on August 18, 1983 to an empty Yankee Stadium. After the 1983 season, Armstrong was involved with a trade with the New York Yankees that would bring Steve Balboni to Kansas City. Armstrong pitched 215 1/3 innings for the Royals.

RANK #174 – TERRY SHUMPERT (#3) – Second Base (1990-1994)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 685.55
285th Royals Player in Franchise History

Terry Shumpert was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1987. Shumpert debuted in the major leagues with Kansas City on May 1, 1990. Shumpert played in place of the slumping Frank White in the month of May. He was brought back in September for some limited playing time. In 1991, with the retirement of Frank White, Shumpert became the everyday second baseman for the Kansas City Royals. He was touted as the next Frank White, but he did not quite live up to the expectations, only hitting .217 for the season with five home runs. Shumpert played most of 1992 and 1993 in the minor leagues with very limited time in Kansas City. In 1994, Shumpert had his best season, hitting a .240 batting average while swapping time with Jose Lind at second base. On May 14, 1994, he was part of only the fourth triple play in Royals history, going 5-4-3 on the play. Four days later on May 18, Shumpert hit his only career grand slam against the Seattle Mariners. At the end of the 1994 season, Shumpert was sent to the Boston Red Sox in a conditional deal. He was a career .220 hitter for the Royals and played 1,894 innings at second base.

RANK #173 – GENE GARBER (#32) – Closing Pitcher (1973-1974, 1987-1988)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 687.00
76th Royals Player in Franchise History

Gene Garber was traded to the Kansas City Royals from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for pitcher Jim Rooker in 1972. In his first season, Rooker pitched primarily in relief with eight spot starts. He was second on the team in saves with 11 behind Doug Bird, who had 20 saves. Garber had adopted a change-up pitch that was delivered submarine-style which became very effective from the mound. In July of 1974, Garber’s contact was sold to the Philadelphia Phillies. Over the next 13 years, Garber played for the Phillies and the Atlanta Braves with great success. In September of 1987, the Braves traded Garber back to the Kansas City Royals for a player-to-be-named-later (announced later as catcher Terry Bell). He immediately became the closer for the Royals in place of the aging Dan Quisenberry. He posted eight saves in the month of September for the Royals. By 1988, his role with the Royals was changed to that of middle relief pitcher. On July 4, 1988, due to the success of Steve Farr as closer, both Gene Garber and Dan Quisenberry were released from the Royals. This ended Garber’s major league career. Garber had 26 saves in 104 appearances with the Royals.

RANK #172 – BILL BUTLER (#29) – Starting Pitcher (1969-1971)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 687.96
19th Royals Player in Franchise History

Bill Butler was selected in the 1968 Expansion Draft from the Detroit Tigers. His major league debut came on April 9, 1969 against the Minnesota Twins when he pitched five innings of relief and had six strikeouts in the second victory in Royals history. Butler was ranked 10th in the American League his rookie year with 156 strikeouts. His best game came on July 2, 1969 in a 1-0 complete game shutout of the California Angels. Butler was plagued with injuries in 1970 and had an abysmal 4-12 record. Early in 1972, he was sent down to AAA Omaha and on July 11, his contract was sold to the Cleveland Indians. Butler logged 378 2/3 innings pitched for Kansas City.

RANK #171 – WILSON BETEMIT (#46) – Third Base (2010-2011)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 691.19
712th Royals Player in Franchise History

Wilson Betemit signed as a free agent in 2009 after playing for the Chicago White Sox. He began the 2010 season at AAA Omaha until he was called up in late May. Betemit was primarily used as a pinch hitter until Alberto Callaspo was traded. Then, Betemit took over the day-to-day third base duties. He excelled at the new role, hitting .297 on the season with 13 home runs. On June 10, Betemit hit two home runs on both sides of the plate against the Minnesota Twins, becoming only the fifth player in franchise history to accomplish the feat.. On September 15, 2010, Betemit hit a grand slam against the Oakland Athletics. Betemit continued his success in 2011 at third base until he was traded in late July to the Detroit Tigers for a minor league player. Betemit hit .290 while in Kansas City, hitting 16 home runs in 141 appearances.

RANK #170 – VADA PINSON (#28) – Right Field (1974-1975)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 693.41
87th Royals Player in Franchise History

Veteran outfielder Vada Pinson was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the California Angels in exchange for Barry Raziano in 1974. He split time in right field with rookie Al Cowens. Pinson hit .276 with six home runs in his first season with the Royals. His best game came on August 21, 1974 against the Cleveland Indians. Pinson went 3-5 with a grand slam and four RBIs. Despite being on the opening day roster in 1975, Pinson played the season as a backup outfielder, again splitting the backup duties with Al Cowens. He was released at the conclusion of the season and ultimately picked up by the Milwaukee Brewers. He did not make the Brewers’ roster, thus ending his major league career. Pinson was a .252 career hitter while logging 1,153 2/3 innings in right field with the Royals.

RANK #169 – GREGG JEFFERIES (#9) – Third Base (1992)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 693.77
320th Royals Player in Franchise History

In 1991, Gregg Jefferies was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Kevin McReynolds and Keith Miller, for Cy Young winner Bret Saberhagen and utility player Bill Pecota. He became the everyday third baseman for the Kansas City Royals, hitting .285 with 10 home runs and 75 RBIs. Jefferies played 1,288 1/3 innings at third base durring the season. On May 20, 1992, Jefferies hit a grand slam against the Chicago White Sox to help the Royals beat Chicago 7-2. However, he was traded at the end of the season to the St. Louis Cardinals for Felix Jose and Craig Wilson. Some consider this trade to be one of the worst in Royals history.

RANK #168 – RUNELVYS HERNANDEZ (#40) – Starting Pitcher (2002-2006)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 695.37
531st Royals Player in Franchise History

Runelvys Hernandez was signed by the Kansas City Royals in 1997 as a non-drafted free agent. He made his major league debut on July 15, 2002. He started 12 games in his first half-season with an ERA of 4.36. In 2003, he was tapped to be the opening day starting pitcher for the Kansas City Royals. He pitched six scoreless innings and earned the win against the Chicago White Sox. He began his first full season perfectly, with a 1.36 ERA by the first of May. Pain became a major factor as the season progress, and Hernandez struggled. He ended his season in mid-August and had Tommy John surgery, which kept him out of the major leagues for the entire 2004 season. He returned in 2005, but his abilities were not what they used to be. His season ERA shot up to 5.52. He began having a weight issue as well as an issue with his temper. He got into a fight with fellow teammate John Buck in the dugout. He was involved in a bench-clearing brawl in August in which seven players were ejected. His last season with the Royals continued to be bad for Hernandez. His lofty ERA of 6.48 was the worst on the team. The one bright spot of the season was on August 26, 2006 when he had his only complete game shutout of his career against Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays, one of the best pitchers in baseball. Hernandez was released at the conclusion of the season and he signed with the Boston Red Sox. He had a 25-33 record with the Royals in 78 starts over 1,149 2/3 innings pitched.

RANK #167 – TONY SOLAITA (#8) – First Base (1974-1976)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 703.22
90th Royals Player in Franchise History

Tony Solaita was selected in the Rule 5 Draft in 1973 from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He became the first player in the major leagues from the American Samoa. Solaita was a backup first baseman to John Mayberry and played some time at designated hitter. On July 18, 1974, Solaita hit a 550 foot home run at Yankee Stadium, into the wind, that was said to be one of the longest in Yankee Stadium history. On June 18, 1975, Solaita went 3-3 with two monster home runs, scored five runs and drove in four RBIs. On September 7, 1975, Solaita hit three home runs in one game and drove in four runs against the California Angels. During the 1975 season, Solaita hit 16 home runs in 231 at bats, one of the best home run-to-at bat ratios in Royals history. Midway during the 1976 season, Solaita was released by the Royals and picked up by the California Angels. While in Kansas City, Solaita hit .260 with 23 home runs in 220 games.

RANK #166 – MIKE MAGNANTE (#57) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1991-1996)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 705.36
305th Royals Player in Franchise History

Mike Magnante was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1988. He made his major league debut with the Royals on April 22, 1991. A left-handed pitcher, Magnante appeared in 191 games with the Royals, mostly in relief and had a career ERA of 4.40. He is also credited with having 22 holds in Royals history. He was a regular with the Royals for his first two seasons, however, he was demoted to AAA Omaha in 1993 and only pitched in seven games with the Royals. He would continue to bounce back and forth between Omaha and Kansas City throughout the rest of his Royals career. In 1996, the Royals released Magnante and he was picked up by the Houston Astros. He pitched a total of 325 1/3 innings with the Royals.

RANK #165 – EDINSON VOLQUEZ (#36) – Starting Pitcher (2015-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 708.53
802nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Veteran Pitcher Edinson Volquez signed as a free agent in 2015 after being the ace of the rotation for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Known at “Eddy,” Volquez became the most consistent pitcher in the Royals’ starting rotation during the 2015 season. He was the only pitcher to pitch over 200 innings during the season. Volquez had a 13-9 record in 34 appearances with the Royals. Despite having the third-most base-on-balls in the American League, Volquez had 155 strikeouts in 200 1/3 innings pitched. He averaged just over six innings per game and recorded 20 quality starts. His efforts help propel the Royals into the playoffs for the second-straight season. In the ALDS and ALCS, Volquez pitched more than any other pitcher on the staff. He earned the first win in the ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays after pitching six scoreless innings. When the Royals made the World Series, Volquez was tapped to start the series against the New York Mets. About one hour before the first game, Volquez’s father passed away suddenly in the Dominican Republic. Per the request of his wife, Volquez was not told of the death until after his start against the Mets. He pitched six innings, giving up three runs. The Royals won the game in 14 innings. After being taken out in the sixth, he rushed to the airport to be with his family. There was some question if he was going to return. During Game 4, he returned to the team while they were in New York. Volquez then pitched in Game 5. He pitched six innings and gave up only two runs to help the Royals win their second-ever World Series. Volquez was the opening day starter in 2016 and is currently still pitching for Kansas City.

RANK #164 – JOE KEOUGH (#16) – Right Field (1969-1972)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 712.00
16th Royals Player in Franchise History

Joe Keough was selected from the Oakland Athletics during the 1968 Expansion Draft. He entered the first ever game in Royals history against the Minnesota Twins in the bottom of the 12th inning as a pinch hitter. Keough singled into right field to bring the go-ahead run, Joe Foy, to home plate and win the first game ever. Keough was the first player in Royals history to have a game-winning RBI. In 1970, he was able to make the everyday lineup in right field, but his season abruptly ended when he broke his leg. His 1970 season average was .322. He returned in 1971 and was selected to the opening day roster in right field. That year, he started 87 games in right field. His career batting average was .250 with Kansas City. After the season, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox in early 1973 for Jim Lyttle. Keough played 1,059 2/3 innings in right field.

RANK #163 – DEE BROWN (#27) – Left Field (1998-2004)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 714.28
452nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Dee Brown was drafted in the first round by the Kansas City Royals in 1996. He made his major league debut on September 14, 1998 against the Oakland Athletics. Between 1998 and 2000, Brown only played 32 games in Kansas City, but in 2001, Brown was selected as designated hitter on opening day. For the first half of 2001, Brown split time between designated hitter and left field before permanently playing left field halfway through the season. In 2001, Brown hit .245 with seven home runs and 40 RBIs. His best game came on May 30, 2001 when he went 2-5 with a homerun and three RBIs as designated hitter. However, the following season, Brown was sent back to AAA Omaha for most of the season. In 2003 and 2004, Brown was brought back to play in more than 50 games each season, but he was lacking the power and consistency of other Royals outfielders. Despite this, Brown did manage to hit two grand slams in 2004. The first was on April 9 against Detroit and the second was on July 16 against Minnesota. It was, however, not enough for the Royals to keep him on the roster. Brown was granted free agency at the conclusion of the 2004 season and he signed a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Brown hit .234 for the Royals in his career with 14 home runs and 1,321 2/3 innings played in left field.

RANK #162 – CRAIG PAQUETTE (#12) – Third Base (1996-1997)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 715.16
399th Royals Player in Franchise History

Craig Paquette was released by the Oakland Athletics in 1996 and picked up off waivers by the Kansas City Royals. The 1996 season became the best season of his career as Paquette made 118 appearances as a utility player, mostly playing third base, first base and outfielder. Paquette showed power by hitting 22 home runs in his first season. However, he led the team in strikeouts with 101 on the season. He was picked to be the opening day starter at third base in 1997, but his numbers went south. In one bright moment on May 24, 1997, Paquette hit a grand slam off of Jamie Moyer of the Seattle Mariners. But Paquette only hit .230 with eight home runs and was demoted to AAA Omaha in late July and replaced by the newly acquired Dean Palmer. Paquette’s contract was not renewed and he was signed by the New York Mets. Paquette only hit a career .248 in 195 appearances with the Royals.

RANK #161 – JIM SUNDBERG (#8) – Catcher (1985-1986)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 716.39
215th Royals Player in Franchise History

Veteran catcher Jim Sundberg was acquired by the Kansas City Royals in one of the most complex trades in Royals history prior to the 1985 season. The four-team trade brought Sundberg to Kansas City, sent Don Slaught to the Texas Rangers and Frank Wills to the New York Mets. Sundberg was one of the best fielding catchers in the American League, despite the fact that he was clearly in the twilight years of his career. Sundberg hit .245 on the season with 10 home runs. He helped lead the Kansas City Royals to their first-ever World Series championship in 1985. In 1986, Sundberg hit a grand slam home run against the Detroit Tigers on June 11. Despite this great game, Sundberg only hit .212 for the season with 12 home runs. He was traded to the Chicago Cubs in 1987 in exchange for Thad Bosley and Dave Gumpert. Sundberg is 11th all-time for innings played as catcher with 2,060 2/3 innings. He hit .227 in his time with Kansas City.

RANK #160 – ROSS GLOAD (#7) – First Base (2007-2008)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 740.66
645th Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Alex Gordon and Gil Meche)

Ross Gload was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Chicago White Sox in 2006 for pitcher Andy Sisco. On opening day of 2007, Gload started the game in left field, but he split time during the season with Ryan Shealy at first base. Gload hit .288 for the season with seven home runs in 320 at bats, the most of his career. His best game came on August 4, 2007 against the New York Yankees when he went 3-4 with a double, a sacrifice fly and three RBIs. Gload was in the top ten players in the American League in sacrifice flies in 2007. Gload continued to be the Royals primary first baseman in 2008 with a .273 batting average. After signing a two year deal with the Royals in the offseason, Gload was traded to the Florida Marlins, with cash, for a minor league player. Gload hit .280 and logged 1,554 innings at first base with the Kansas City Royals.

RANK #159 – CHILI DAVIS (#44) – Designated Hitter (1997)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 742.83
415th Royals Player in Franchise History

Thomas “Chili” Davis was the first Jamaican to play major league baseball. He was traded to the Kansas City Royals from the Anaheim Angels for Mark Gubicza and a minor league player. Davis played more games as designated hitter than any other Royals player that season. With the Royals, he hit a career high 30 home runs while batting .279. On April 25, 1997, Chili Davis hit a grand slam off of Richie Lewis of the Oakland Athletics in the 10-3 victory. On June 7, Davis became only the third player in franchise history to hit two home runs in the same game from both sides of the plate against the Texas Rangers. On August 14, Davis hit 4-4 with two home runs and five RBIs. Chili Davis’ season was one of the most productive by a designated hitter in Royals’ history. His 590 plate appearances as a designated hitter is ninth all-time in franchise history. He was granted free agency at the end of the season and went on to play for the New York Yankees.

RANK #158 – KYLE DAVIES (#34) – Starting Pitcher (2007-2011)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 745.92
661st Royals Player in Franchise History

Kyle Davies was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Octavio Dotel in July of 2007. He was placed in the lineup for the injured Jorge de la Rosa in August. Davies had a very poor showing with a 6.66 ERA in 11 starts. Davies began the 2008 season at AAA Omaha before being called back up to Kansas City. He had great success at AAA level and after his callup, he posted the best ERA of his career with 4.06. His best game came on September 15, 2008 with a 3-0 win over the Seattle Mariners, pitching eight scoreless innings and striking out eight. He started the 2009 season in the rotation, but in June he was sent back to the minors with a 5.76 ERA. When he returned in in August, his first game he gave up eight runs in 3 2/3 innings against Seattle. In 2010, he spent the entire season in Kansas City, but only had a 5.34 ERA in 32 starts. During the 2011 season, he sustained an injury in August after very limited appearances during the season. He was released after his injury by the Royals and was picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays. He never played in the major leagues again. He had a 29-44 in 531 record during innings pitched with the Royals. His 5.34 career ERA is the highest of any starting pitcher in Royals history.

RANK #157 – WALLY BUNKER (#27) – Starting Pitcher (1969-1971)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 750.45
1st Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Jerry Adair, Joe Foy, Chuck Harrison, Jackie Hernandez, Ed Kirkpatrick, Bob Oliver, Lou Piniella, and Ellie Rodriguez)

Wally Bunker started the first game in Royals history against the Minnesota Twins. He was selected by the Royals in the 1968 Expansion Draft. Bunker is considered the first pitching ace in Royals history. Despite having a career 16-25 record with the Royals, Bunker managed to have a 3.70 ERA with the Royals in his three-year Kansas City career. While in Kansas City, Bunker had 52 starts and 204 strikeouts. He was known for his outstanding sinker pitch. His career game came on June 3, 1969 against the Washington Senators where he pitched a complete game for the victory and struck out 10 batters. Bunker’s career was cut short when he developed arm problems and was released during the 1971 season. With this release, his major league career ended. Bunker pitched a total of 376 2/3 innings with the Royals.

RANK #156 – PAUL BYRD (#36) – Starting Pitcher (2001-2002)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 750.82
507th Royals Player in Franchise History

Paul Byrd was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Philadelphia Phillies for relief pitcher Jose Santiago in June of 2001. He was immediately inserted into the struggling starting rotation with positive results. He posted a 6-6 record and an ERA of 4.05 with the Royals in the remainder of the 2001 season. In 2002, Byrd had a masterful season with a 17-11 record despite the Royals having a 100 loss season. He was ranked one of the top ten pitchers in the major leagues. He led the American League with seven complete games. He also established a club record 28 1/3 straight innings without giving up a walk in the beginning of a season. His best game with the Royals came on April 22, 2002 with a 6-0 complete game shutout of the Detroit Tigers, striking out four and giving up six hits with no walks. He became a free agent at the end of the season and signed with the Atlanta Braves. He had a 3.95 career ERA with the Royals in 48 games started.

RANK #155 – BUCK MARTINEZ (#21) – Catcher (1969-1977)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 757.22
30th Royals Player in Franchise History

Buck Martinez was a backup catcher for the Kansas City Royals for nine years. He was acquired in a trade of minor league players with the Houston Astros in 1968. He was brought up from the minor leagues in mid-June of 1969. He appeared in 72 games in 1969 and was only brought up from the minor leagues for six games in 1970. Despite being on the opening day roster in 1971, he split time with the minor leagues until 1975 when he became a regular backup catcher. In 1976, Martinez started all five games of the ALCS against the New York Yankees as catcher. Martinez’s best game was the second game of a doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins on September 14, 1974. In the game, he went 2-4 with a home run and four RBIs as the Royals beat the Twins 13-3. Martinez was traded, along with Mark Littell, to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for closer Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky. He hit a career .222 for the Royals and ranks seventh all-time in innings as a catcher with 2,522 2/3.

RANK #154 – MIGUEL OLIVO (#21) – Catcher (2008-2009)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 759.44
669th Royals Player in Franchise History

Miguel Olivo signed as a free agent in 2007 to the Kansas City Royals after playing for the Florida Marlins. In his first season with the Royals, Olivo was the backup catcher to John Buck. He hit .255 with 12 home runs in 84 appearances. In 2009, Olivo replaced Buck as the primary catcher for the Royals. Olivo showed a lot of power at the plate, hitting .249 with a team-leading 23 home runs. His best game came on September 18, 2009 in an 11-0 blowout of the Chicago White Sox. Olivo went 2-3 with a walk, two home runs and six RBIs. His contract was not renewed and he was picked up by the Colorado Rockies in 2010. Olivo was a .251 hitter with 35 home runs in his brief career with the Royals. He logged 1,340 innings as catcher

RANK #153 – ROBERTO HERNANDEZ (#39) – Closing Pitcher (2001-2002)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 759.83
502nd Royals Player in Franchise History

In 2001, Robert Hernandez arrived in Kansas City in a complex three-team trade. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays sent Roberto Hernandez to Kansas City and Cory Lidle to Oakland. A.J. Hinch and Angel Berroa were sent to Kansas City from the Oakland Athletics. Oakland sent Ben Grieve to Tampa Bay and Kansas City sent Johnny Damon and Mark Ellis to Oakland. Hernandez instantly became the Royals closer. He pitched in 63 games and had 28 saves, despite having a lofty 4.12 ERA. His numbers stayed consistent into the next season with 26 saves in 53 appearances and an ERA of 4.33. His contract was not renewed and he signed with the Atlanta Braves. Hernandez had a 4.21 career ERA with the Royals in 116 relief appearances.

RANK #152 – JOEY GATHRIGHT (#2) – Center Field (2006-2008)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 761.10
634th Royals Player in Franchise History

Joey Gathright was traded by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, along with Fernando Cortez, to the Kansas City Royals for pitcher J.P. Howell in June of 2006. The trade moved David DeJesus from center field to left field. In his shortened first season with the Royals, Gathright led the team, along with Mark Teahen, in stolen bases with ten. His best game came on July 6, 2006 against the Detroit Tigers when he hit 2-3 with a triple and four RBIs. Gathright began the 2007 season on the disabled list. When he returned, he was moved to left field in favor of DeJesus remaining in center field. Gathright hit .307 in 2007, but was inconsistent in his baserunning despite his speed. His baserunning improved in 2008 by stealing 28 and hitting .254 on the season. After the season, Gathright was not retained by the Royals and he signed a contract with the Chicago Cubs. He hit .273 with the Royals with 40 stolen bases over 2 ½ seasons. He played 1,354 2/3 innings in center field.

RANK #151 – TONY GRAFFANINO (#14) – Utility Infield (2004-2005, 2006)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 773.31
566th Royals Player in Franchise History

Tony Graffanino signed as a free agent in 2003 after playing for the Chicago White Sox. He hit .263 as the starting second baseman in the beginning of 2004. However, an injury in late July ended his first season. In 2005, Graffanino played equal time at first, second and third base. His batting average improved to .298. His best game came on May 29, 2005 against the Anaheim Angels. Graffanino hit a perfect 5-5 with a double and three RBIs. However, in mid-July, Graffanino was traded to the Boston Red Sox for Chip Ambres and a minor league player. After playing the second-half of 2005 in Boston, the Red Sox released Graffanino and he was picked up off waivers by the Royals. He was again placed in the role of infield utility player for the Royals for the first half of the season. In July of 2006, he was traded a second time to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for starting pitcher Jorge de la Rosa. Graffanino had a .274 batting average in 203 appearances during his time with the Kansas City Royals.

RANK #150 – DON SLAUGHT (#7) – Catcher (1982-1984)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 774.50
183rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Don Slaught was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1980. He made his major league debut on July 6, 1982. He was made the backup catcher to veteran John Wathan. He hit .278 in 43 appearances with the Royals in the later-half of the 1982 season. Slaught continued to backup Wathan in 1983, but it was clear that Slaught was well on his way to taking over the starting roll. Slaught hit .312 during that season. In 1984, Slaught did take over the primary role as catcher for the Royals. He hit .264 with four home runs. On August 16, 1984, Slaught hit his first-ever grand slam against the Texas Rangers. He helped the Royals to the playoffs, hitting .364 against the Detroit Tigers. At the end of the season, Slaught was involved in one of the most complex trades in Royals history. The four-team trade sent Slaught to the Texas Rangers, Frank Wills to the New York Mets, and the Royals received all-star catcher Jim Sundberg. Slaught hit .283 in Kansas City and was catcher for 1,943 1/3 innings.

RANK #149 – ONIX CONCEPCION (#22) – Shortstop (1980-1985)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 775.46
154th Royals Player in Franchise History

Onix Concepcion was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 1976. He made his major league debut on August 30, 1980. In 1980, Concepcion was primarily used as a pinch runner and only played 12 regular season games. He was used three times in the 1980 World Series as a pinch runner for the Royals. Most of his 1981 season was spent in the minor leagues. In 1982, he was brought back to the majors as a backup second baseman to Frank White and backup shortstop to U L Washington. Concepcion hit .234 in 1982. This continued through 1983 with his batting average improving to .242. With the departure of Washington, Concepcion became the Royals’ full-time shortstop in 1984. He had the best season of his career, hitting .282 with nine stolen bases. He started in every game for the Royals in the 1984 ALCS, but went 0-7 batting. He started 109 games at shortstop in 1985, but with his offensive production greatly diminished, it was the decision of manager Dick Howser to replace him with backup Buddy Biancalana during the ALCS and the World Series. His World Series highlight was that he scored the tying run as a pinch runner in Game 6 off a hit from Dane Iorg in the bottom of the ninth inning. He was released by the Royals just prior to opening day of 1986. He would not play again in the majors until he was picked up briefly by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1987. Concepcion is ninth all-time in innings played at shortstop with 2,232 1/3 innings. He hit a career .238 with the Kansas City Royals.

RANK #148 – BIP ROBERTS (#1) – Utility Player (1996-1997)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 778.35
391st Royals Player in Franchise History

Leon “Bip” Roberts was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with a minor league player, for Wally Joyner and a minor leaguer. He was the opening day second baseman for the Kansas City Royals in 1996, a position that he played most of his career. He hit .283 with 12 stolen bases in Kansas City. His best game as a Royals player came on June 8, 1996 against the Seattle Mariners when he went 3-6 with two doubles and four RBIs while batting leadoff. An injury kept him from playing most of June and early July. When he returned, Keith Lockhart was moved from third base to second base and Roberts became more of a utility player and a designated hitter, outfielder and infielder. In 1997, Roberts was converted to a left fielder due to the acquisition of Jose Offerman. He played 82 games in the position, hitting .309 and stealing 15 bases. The Royals decided to deal Roberts to the Cleveland Indians for a Roland de la Maza in late August. Roberts hit .296 in his two seasons with the Royals.

RANK #147 – VINCE COLEMAN (#29) – Left Field (1994-1995)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 780.55
359th Royals Player in Franchise History

The Royals traded Kevin McReynolds to the New York Mets to get Vince Coleman to Kansas City. He was the 1985 National League Rookie-of-the-Year and played against the Royals in the World Series. Many believed that Coleman was past his prime, but he made an immediate impact being the lead off batter on opening day for the Royals as well as stealing 50 bases in his first season. Regrettably, the 1994 season was cut short by the baseball strike. His best game came May 29, 1994 when he went 4-5 with two triples and four RBIs as the Royals beat the New York Yankees 10-6. In his second season, he hit .287 with 26 stolen bases by August. However, the Royals elected to trade Coleman in mid-August for Jim Converse of the Seattle Mariners. He played 1,366 1/3 innings in left field.

RANK #146 – JAY BELL (#28) – Shortstop (1997)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 783.45
407th Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Jermaine Dye and Jeff King)

Jay Bell was traded, along with Jeff King, to the Kansas City Royals in 1996 in exchange for Joe Randa, Jeff Wallace, Jeff Granger and minor leaguer Jeff Martin. He started 144 games with the Kansas City Royals at shortstop batting .291 with 28 home runs. On June 27, 1997, Bell hit a grand slam against the Milwaukee Brewers in the fourth inning. He also picked up five RBIs in that game. He was second in the American League at shortstop in assists with 450 and second in double plays turned with 102. He was second only to Jeff King on the club in RBIs with 92. Jay Bell’s 1997 season was one of the most productive offensive seasons by a shortstop in team history. Bell was granted free agency at the end of the season and went on to play for and score the Game 7 winning run for the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2001 World Series.

RANK #145 – KEVIN MCREYNOLDS (#22) – Left Field (1992-1993)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 812.86
322nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Kevin McReynolds was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Keith Miller, by the New York Mets for pitcher Bret Saberhagen and utility player Bill Pecota. The trade outraged many Royals fans because they did not want to see the departure of Saberhagen from Kansas City. McReynolds was the 1992 opening day right fielder for the Royals, but played most of the season in left field. McReynolds was a veteran in decline, with his batting average dropping to .247, the lowest since 1985. He was on the disabled list much of August for the Royals, but still managed to hit 13 home runs on the season. In 1993, he played in all but one game in left field, but his numbers had fallen further. His home run production dropped to only 11 for the season as well as a batting average of .245. He had his best game in Kansas City on August 15, 1993 in a 7-5 victory against the Chicago White Sox, hitting 2-4 with a walk, home run and three RBIs. In 1994, McReynolds was traded to the New York Mets for veteran Vince Coleman. HE played 1,630 innings in left field for the Royals.

RANK #144 – TIM COLLINS (#55) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2011-2014)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 816.23
729th Royals Player in Franchise History

Tim Collins was traded by the Atlanta Braves, along with Gregor Blanco and Jesse Chavez to the Kansas City Royals for Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth in July of 2010. Collins stands only 5’7” tall, but pitched a 97 mph four-seam fastball. He made his major league debut on March 31, 2011, striking out Torii Hunter of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Collins pitched 68 relief games in 2011 and 72 games in 2012. He had an ERA of 3.49 over his first two years with the Royals, striking out 153 in 136 2/3 innings. In 2013, Collins was a part of the best bullpen in the American League with a 3-6 record and 3.54 ERA. Unfortunately, Collins got off to a horrible start to the 2014 season. His ERA was 4.91 by the end of May and the Royals sent him down to AAA Omaha in mid-June to work on his delivery. Collins was called back up in late September to fill in for the struggling Aaron Crow. He posted a 2.45 ERA in four games and was included in the 25-man roster for the Royals’ first playoff berth in 29 years. He appeared five innings over three games in the post-season with a 3.60 ERA. Before the 2015 season began, Collins had a season-ending injury and surgery on his elbow. Collins has 44 holds in 228 appearances for the Kansas City Royals in his four years with the team. He is still part of the Royals organization, but missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons.

RANK #143 – MELKY CABRERA (#53) – Center Field (2011)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 822.47
723rd Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Alcides Escobar, Jeff Francoeur, and Matt Treanor)

Melky Cabrera signed as a free agent in 2010 after being released by the Atlanta Braves. Cabrera became an instant star on the team, hitting .305 for the season. He had 18 home runs, 102 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. He was fourth in the American League in hits with 201 and only the sixth player in Royals history to have over 200 hits. On July 29, 2011, Cabrera hit a grand slam home run against the Cleveland Indians. Cabrera, along with Alex Gordon and Jeff Francoeur, became the best outfield in major league baseball. He led the American League in double plays turned by an outfielder. However, by the end of the season, Cabrera was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Verdugo. He played 1,265 2/3 innings in center field.

RANK #142 – KEITH LOCKHART (#4) – Second Base (1995-1996)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 824.37
377th Royals Player in Franchise History

Keith Lockhart was signed by the Kansas City Royals as a free agent after playing with the San Diego Padres. Lockhart began the 1995 season at AAA Omaha, but was brought up to Kansas City after Jose Lind walked away from the team due to personal reasons. His start for the Royals was outstanding. He hit .321 in 94 appearances with the Royals, including six home runs, 33 RBIs and eight stolen bases. His best game came on September 16, 1995 when he went 2-3 with a homerun and three RBIs in a 7-6 win over the California Angels. In 1996, Lockhart switched to third base on opening day and split his time between third and second base. He hit .273 for the Royals in 1996 with 11 stolen bases and seven home runs. Before opening day of 1997, Lockhart was traded, along with Michael Tucker, to the Atlanta Braves for outfielder Jermaine Dye and pitcher Jamie Walker. Lockhart hit .291 with the Royals in 232 appearances. He logged 1,015 innings at second base.

RANK #141 – DESI RELAFORD (#12) – Second Base (2003-2004)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 826.77
537th Royals Player in Franchise History

Desi Relaford was signed by the Kansas City Royals as a free agent after playing for the Seattle Mariners in 2003. Relaford split time at second base with the slumping Carlos Febles. In his first season, Relaford hit .254 with 20 stolen bases. His best game came on July 29, 2003 against the Chicago White Sox when he went 3-3 with a walk, home run and three RBIs. His role, however, changed in 2004 when Relaford became a utility player, having time in both the outfield and infield. Relaford became a free agent at the end of the season and he signed with the Colorado Rockies. Relaford had a .240 career batting average in 255 appearances with the Royals.

RANK #140 – PAT TABLER (#30) – Utility Outfield (1988-1990)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 832.78
259th Royals Player in Franchise History

Pat Tabler was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Cleveland Indians for pitcher Buddy Black in June of 1988. Tabler split his time in his first season with the Royals between left field and designated hitter. Tabler hit .309 with 49 RBIs for the Royals. His best game with the Royals was on June 16, 1988 against the Oakland Athletics when he went 3-5 with four RBIs. In 1989, Tabler was the opening day designated hitter. His offensive production dropped to .259 with only two home runs. His average improved to .272, but then Tabler was traded to the New York Mets for Archie Corbin in August. Tabler hit .279 in 287 appearances in his Royals career.

RANK #139 – CHRIS GETZ (#17) – Second Base (2010-2013)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 860.51
702nd Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Rick Ankiel, Jason Kendall, and Scott Podsednik)

Chris Getz was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Josh Fields, from the Chicago White Sox for Mark Teahen. Getz was the backup second baseman in his first season in Kansas City for Mike Aviles. He hit .237 in his first season with 15 stolen bases. In 2011, Getz was the opening day second baseman. He played at second base most of the season and his batting average improved to .255 with 21 stolen bases. However, his 2012 season was marred by injury. He only made 64 appearances hitting .275. His production fell in 2013, only hitting .220 with one home run. Toward the end of the season, he was replaced by newly acquired Emilio Bonifacio from the Toronto Blue Jays. Getz has a .248 batting average with the Royals as well as 61 stolen bases. Getz was released at the end of the 2013 season by the Kansas City Royals and was picked up by Toronto Blue Jays. He is currently fifth all-time for innings played at second base with 2,453 2/3. Getz had 1,123 plate appearances in 332 games for the Royals.

RANK #138 – OMAR INFANTE (#14) – Second Base (2014-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 863.75
778th Royals Player in Franchise History

Omar Infante signed as a free agent to the Kansas City Royals after playing for the Detroit Tigers. The Royals were looking to shore up their second base spot by replacing Chris Getz. The veteran Infante filled the position with a much better bat and fielding accuracy. Infante hit .252 in 135 games for the Royals. He drove in 66 RBIs for the Royals as well as stealing nine bases. He missed part of May with an injury, but came back and kept his consistency at second base. On June 27, Infante hit a grand slam home run against the Los Angeles Angels to secure the 8-6 victory. Infante was a consistent player all season and his glove helped contribute to the best defensive team in the major leagues. With his playoff experience, he helped the Royals make their first playoff berth in 29 years. During the post-season, Infante did have a key home run in the World Series, but his overall offensive performance was a disappointing .098 batting average. During the 2015 season, Infante was hitting .264 by mid-May and was in the running to be a starter on the All-Star team for the American League. Unfortunately, by September, his offensive production dropped to just above a .200 batting average. He did, however, have seven RBIs in one game on September 21, 2015, but then suffered from an oblique strain that ended his season. Infante has returned as the everyday second baseman for the 2016 season. As of 2015, Infante is seventh all-time with 2,230 1/3 innings player at second base.

RANK #137 – MIKE MACDOUGAL (#54) – Closing Pitcher (2001-2006)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 866.48
516th Royals Player in Franchise History

Mike MacDougal was a first-round draft pick by the Kansas City Royals in 1999. He made his major league debut on September 22, 2001. He made three starts in September of 2001. In his final start, he was struck in the head by a bat that came loose from the hands of Carlos Beltran and he suffered a fractured skull. He lost the feeling in his right arm was was on the DL for three months. After rehabilitation throughout 2002, he was able to pitch again in September of 2002, made only six appearances in relief. His big break came in 2003 when he was made the closer for the Royals. MacDougal appeared in 68 games, pitching 64 innings and earned 27 saves. He was named to the 2003 All-Star Game, but did not pitch. The next season, MacDougal was on the DL again with a virus. When he returned, he struggled and was demoted to AAA Omaha. In 2005, he returned as the Kansas City in the closer’s role and earned 21 saves in 68 appearances. In 2006, he was on the DL again with a shoulder injury and did not return until mid-July. After only four appearances, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox for two minor league pitchers. MacDougal is seventh all-time in career saves with the Royals, earning 50 in 162 appearances. He also had 162 strikeouts in 174 innings pitched.

RANK #136 – YUNIESKY BETANCOURT (#3) – Shortstop (2009-2010, 2012)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 879.79
696th Royals Player in Franchise History

Yuniesky Betancourt defected from Cuba in 2003. In July 2009, the Seattle Mariners traded him to the Kansas City Royals for two minor league players. He replaced shortstop Mike Aviles after he sustained a season-ending injury. Betancourt hit .240 with four home runs in the second half of the 2009 season. He was named the opening day shortstop in 2010. During the season, Betancourt became only the second Royals player to hit three grand slam home runs in one season. He hit his first off of Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield on May 28, 2010. His second came on July 17 against the Oakland Athletics and his third on August 21 against the Chicago White Sox. He was ranked one of the five best defensive shortstops in the major league for the 2010 season. At the end of the season, Betancourt was traded, along with starting pitcher Zack Greinke, to the Milwaukee Brewers for Jeremy Jeffress, Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain and minor league superstar Jake Odorizzi. After just one season with the Brewers, he re-signed with Royals for the 2012 season. His second stint with the Royals was a far cry from the 2010. He only hit .228 and was released in mid-August. He re-signed with the Milwaukee Brewers for the 2013 season. Betancourt hit .248 in his career with the Royals and 11th all-time in innings played for the Royals at shortstop with 1,951 2/3.

RANK #135 – AL HRABOSKY (#39) – Closing Pitcher (1978-1979)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 891.92
126th Royals Player in Franchise History

Known as “The Mad Hungarian,” Al Hrabosky was traded to the Kansas City Royals from the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Mark Littell and catcher Buck Martinez. He earned his nickname due to his unusual pitching routine of vigorously pounding the ball into his glove while walking toward second base and taking deep breaths in between each pitch. In addition, he was known for his bad temper and his menacing fu manchu. Hrabosky had a 17-11 record with the Royals with 31 saves over two seasons. He was the primary closer in 1978, but began to pitch as a middle relief pitcher in late 1979 due to the rise of rookie pitcher Dan Quisenberry. Hrabosky was granted free agency in 1979 and he went on to sign with the Atlanta Braves.

RANK #134 – PAT KELLY (#18) – Right Field (1969-1970)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 897.56
12th Royals Player in Franchise History

Pat Kelly was acquired from the Minnesota Twins in the 1968 Expansion Draft. His brother played football for the Cleveland Browns and was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame. Kelly was a devote Christian and would later become a minister. Although he was not on the opening day roster, Kelly became the season’s top right fielder. In the second-ever Royals game, Pat Kelly became the first Kansas City Royals player to be a pinch runner in a game, replacing Jerry Adair and scoring a run. He batted .264 in his first season with the Royals with eight home runs and 40 stolen bases. His best game came on June 15, 1970 when he went 1-4 with a home run. In the ninth inning, he hit a sacrifice fly that scored the tie run and was followed by a game-winning RBI from Amos Otis to beat the Boston Red Sox 7-6. Despite having his best game in 1970, Kelly’s production dropped with a batting average of .235 and 34 stolen bases. Kelly was traded, along with Don O’Riley, to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Gail Hopkins and John Matias. He ended his Royals career with a .249 batting average. He played 1,507 2/3 innings in right field for the Royals.

RANK #133 – FRAN HEALY (#16) – Catcher (1969, 1973-1976)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 903.93
38th Royals Player in Franchise History

Fran Healy was selected from the Cleveland Indians during the 1968 Expansion Draft. He only played ten games in the 1969 season. He played the 1970 season in the minors and after a successful stint in Omaha, he was traded to the San Francisco Giants. However, in 1972, he was traded back the the Royals. Healy would become the Royals primary catcher for the next two seasons. Healy would catch the first two no-hitters in Royals history. Both games were pitched by Steve Busby. The first was on April 27, 1973 against the Detroit Tigers and the second was on June 19, 1974 against the Milwaukee Brewers. Healy had a career .258 batting average for the Royals and is currently eighth all-time in innings as a catcher with 2,424. In 1974, he lead the American League in games caught with 138. On May 16, 1976, Healy was traded to the New York Yankees in exchange for starting pitcher Larry Gura.

RANK #132 – MITCH MAIER (#12) – Center Field (2006-2012)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 906.70
642nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Mitch Maier was a first round draft choice by the Kansas City Royals in 2003. He made his major league debut with the Royals on September 23, 2006. He only played six games in 2006, spent all of 2007 in the minor leagues, and only made 34 appearances in 2008. His first full season came as a utility outfielder in 2009. He played all outfield positions until a season ending injury to center fielder Coco Crisp gave Maier the opportunity to become the everyday player at the position. Maier hit .243 with three home runs during the season. Maier split time with Gregor Blanco at center field in 2010, hitting .263 with five home runs. The last two seasons, the Royals elected to only play Maier in 77 games, mostly as a backup outfielder and pinch runner. Maier also pitched two games in his last two seasons in emergency situations. He was released in 2012 and Maier signed with the Boston Red Sox. Maier never played in the major leagues again, playing every major league game in his career with Kansas City. Maier is currently 10th all-time in innings played in center field for the Royals with 1,532 1/3.

RANK #131 – FELIX JOSE (#34) – Right Field (1993-1995)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 912.50
342nd Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Greg Gagne and Jose Lind)

Former all-star outfielder Felix Jose was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Craig Wilson, by the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Gregg Jefferies. In his first season with the Royals, Jose hit .253 with 31 stolen bases. During the strike-shortened 1994 season, Jose improved his numbers with .303 batting average and 11 home runs. His best game came on May 17, 1994 in a 4-0 win over the Seattle Mariners when he hit 2-3 with a walk, double and three RBIs. Jose only played nine games with 30 at bats and a .241 batting average. He was released by the Royals and signed with the Chicago Cubs. He was a career .269 hitter for the Royals with 41 stolen bases. His 1,961 1/3 innings in right field ranks Jose sixth all-time in franchise history.

RANK #130 – AARON GUIEL (#45) – Right Field (2002-2006)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 919.50
528th Royals Player in Franchise History

The Kansas City Royals purchased the contract of Aaron Guiel from Oaxaca in the Mexican League in 2000. Guiel made his major league debut on June 22, 2002. He played in 70 games with four home runs and a .233 batting average. Guiel split his 2003 season with Kansas City and AAA Omaha, but improved his offensive output with a .277 batting average and 15 home runs. On August 3, 2003, Guiel hit an inside-the-park home run against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. His best game came on August 26, 2003 in a 9-2 victory against the Texas Rangers. Guiel hit 3-5 in the leadoff position with a double, a homerun and four RBIs. Guiel was on the opening day roster in left field in 2004, but by May, he was only hitting .173. He missed most of the season with an eye injury. Guiel was brought back up to the majors in August of 2005 and hit .294 with four home runs in 33 appearances. He was brought up for the month of May in 2006, but demoted yet again to AAA Omaha. He was released and picked up off waivers by the New York Yankees in July. Guiel hit .245 in his career with the Royals and played 1,359 2/3 innings in right field.

RANK #129 – TOM POQUETTE (#25) – Left Field (1973-1979, 1982)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 922.40
85th Royals Player in Franchise History

Tom Poquette was a first round draft choice of the Kansas City Royals in 1972. He had his major league debut on September 1, 1973 against the Oakland Athletics. He only made 21 appearances in 1973 before being sent back to the minor leagues for the next two years. Finally, in 1976, Poquette got his big break with the Royals. He split time in left field with Jim Wohlford. While Wohlford was faster on the base pads, Poquette had better power. Poquette was hitting .347 for the Royals when a freak accident, which lead to an inside-the-park grand slam against Kansas City, placed Poquette on the disabled list. Poquette slammed his head against the concrete outfield wall and suffered a concussion and broken cheekbone. A week later, the Royals installed pads on the outfield walls. Despite his batting average dropping after his return, Poquette finished the season with a .302 batting average which lead all rookies in the major leagues. In 1977, Poquette split time with rookie Joe Zdeb and part-time outfielder Hal McRae and had a .292 season batting average. However, in 1978, his production fell, hitting only .216. Poquette became a backup outfielder to Willie Wilson, Amos Otis, Clint Hurdle and Al Cowens. In June of 1979, Poquette was traded to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for George Scott. He would play for a very limited time for the next 2 1/2 years. He missed the entire 1980 season due to a torn rotator cuff. He would return to Kansas City in 1982 by signing as a free agent. He played only 23 games before being released in July of 1982, ending his major league career. Poquette hit a career .266 with the Kansas City Royals and is 10th all-time in innings played in left field with 1,646.

RANK #128 – ESTEBAN GERMAN (#3) – Utility Player (2006-2008)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 922.95
622nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Esteban German was traded by the Texas Rangers to the Kansas City Royals for Fabio Castro in 2005. German had only played a few major league games over the last four years for two different teams. In 2006, German had his big break with the Royals, making 106 appearances as a utility player in several different positions. His best game came September 14, 2006 as designated hitter against the Seattle Mariners. German went 3-5 with a triple and three RBIs. In 2007, German narrowed his defensive positions to third base and second base. He hit .264 with 11 stolen bases. He played in 121 games in 2007. In 2008, his offensive production fell off considerably and he was released in 2009. German was picked up by the Chicago Cubs. He was a career .280 hitter for the Royals in 316 appearances.

RANK #127 – RUSTY MEACHAM (#27) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1992-1995)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 930.22
328th Royals Player in Franchise History

Rusty Meacham was claimed off waivers from the Detroit Tigers in 1991. In his first season with the Royals, Meacham pitched fantastic from the bullpen with a 2.74 ERA in 101 2/3 innings and a record of 10-4 in 64 appearances. His best game came on August 8, 1992 when he pitched three innings of scoreless relief with four strikeouts against the Oakland Athletics. Injuries plagued Meachem in 1993 and he only pitched in 15 games. The next two seasons, Meacham’s ERA rose to 4.40 in 85 appearances. Despite the downturn, he continued to be a fan-favorite. He continued the tradition started by Dan Quisenberry of spraying down the right field fans with the bullpen hose. He was sent to the minor leagues in 1996 and ultimately traded to the Seattle Mariners for a minor league player. He had a 3.79 ERA, eight saves and 28 holds in 164 relief appearances in his career with the Royals.

RANK #126 – KEN HARVEY (#28) – First Base (2001-2005)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 931.55
514th Royals Player in Franchise History

Ken Harvey was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1999. Harvey made his major league debut on September 18, 2001 and played four games that season. Harvey spent the entire 2002 season at AAA Omaha, however he started at designated hitter on opening day of 2003. Harvey split time playing first base and designated hitter with Mike Sweeney. He hit .266 in his first full season with 13 home runs. But in 2004, Harvey had the best season of his career. He was hitting .327 by the end of June with eight home runs. He was picked to be the sole representative from Kansas City in the All-Star Game. He had one at bat in the All-Star Game as a pinch hitter. Harvey cooled off after the all-star break, but still finished the season with a .287 batting average and 13 home runs. Harvey had a very rough 2005 spring training and he was sent to AAA Omaha in favor of Calvin Pickering. He was brought back to Kansas City in late April. On April 30, 2005, Harvey had his best game against the Cleveland Indians when he went 3-5 with a grand slam home run. After that game, Harvey went 4-31 before going on the disabled list with back problems. It would be the end of his major league career. Harvey hit .274 in his career with the Royals and logged 1,500 1/3 innings at first base.

RANK #125 – JASON GRIMSLEY (#38) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2001-2004)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 932.85
501st Royals Player in Franchise History

In June of 1997, Jason Grimsley was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league starting pitcher Jamie Brewington. Prior to arriving in Kansas City, Grimsley had a rocky career, bouncing up and down and being involved in scandal. He was involved in the famous 1994 “Bat Burglary Incident” with Cleveland’s Albert Belle. He spent his entire 1997 season at AAA Omaha. He was released and played for the the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees before re-signing as a free agent with the Royals in 2001. His 2001 season was the best of his career, posting a 3.01 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 73 appearances. He became the setup pitcher for closer Roberto Hernandez. He would pitch in 70 plus games each of the next two season for the Royals.. He is the second all-time holds leader for the Royals with 72 during his career in Kansas City. He would be traded in June of 2004 for Denny Bautista to the Baltimore Orioles. He finished his Royals career with a 3.94 ERA, 196 strikeouts in 251 relief appearances. Grimsley became one of the greatest setup pitchers in Royals history.

RANK #124 – DEAN PALMER (#38) – Third Base (1997-1998)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 933.00
426th Royals Player in Franchise History

Dean Palmer was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Texas Rangers in exchange for Tom Goodwin in July of 1997. Palmer replaced the struggling Craig Paquette at third base. Instantly, Palmer made an impact, hitting .278 with nine home runs and 31 RBIs in 49 appearances. In 1998, Palmer became one of the best third basemen in the American League. He hit 34 home runs, just two shy of the team record, and batted in 119 runs. Palmer was selected to the 1998 All-Star team at third base. Between July 30 and August 1, Palmer went 5-11 with four home runs and 10 RBIs. He was ranked the third best fielding third baseman in the American League and he became only the second Royals third baseman, other than George Brett, to win the Silver Slugger Award at that position. Palmer became a free agent at the end of the season and signed with the Detroit Tigers. Palmer hit .278 in his short time in Kansas City. He logged 1,530 innings at third base.

RANK #123 – JEREMY AFFELDT (#48) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2002-2006)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 940.39
519th Royals Player in Franchise History

Jeremy Affeldt was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2002. He made his major league debut on April 6, 2002 against the Chicago White Sox. The Royals decided to replace Bryan Rekar with Affeldt in the starting rotation, but Affeldt sustained an injury that placed him on the disabled list for much of the middle of the season. The injury, blisters on his hand, would nag Affeldt for much of his time with the Royals. During the 2003 season, Affeldt had more opportunities as a starter. On May 12, 2003, Affeldt earned a 3-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins. He pitched six innings and struck out eight. In August, he was moved to the bullpen to help alleviate his blister problem. He ultimately had part of his fingernail removed from his middle finger in order to fix the problem. He was placed back into the starting rotation in 2004, but after an going 0-3 in his first eight starts, Affeldt was moved to the bullpen again. Over the next two seasons, the Royals tried to make Affeldt into a starter with little success. On July 31, 2006, Affeldt and Denny Bautista were traded to the Colorado Rockies for Ryan Shealy and Scott Dohmann. Affeldt went 17-22 with a 4.77 ERA with the Kansas City Royals in 399 2/3 innings pitched.

RANK #122 – JIMMY GOBBLE (#41) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2003-2008)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 941.45
556th Royals Player in Franchise History

Jimmy Gobble was selected in the first round of the 1999 draft. He made his major league debut for the Royals on August 3, 2003. He earned a spot on the starting rotation in 2004. He started 24 games with a 9-8 record that season, but only had an ERA of 5.35. He split time with Kansas City and AAA Omaha in 2005 before coming back as a full-time relief pitcher in 2006. His best season was in 2007 when he led the Royals with 74 appearances. His ERA dropped to 3.02 and he posted a 4-1 record as a relief pitcher. His career took a dramatic turn in 2008 when his ERA rose to 8.81. He set the franchise record with the most earned runs given up by a relief pitcher with 10 in one inning on July 21, 2008 against the Detroit Tigers. Gobble was released at the conclusion of the season and was picked up by the Texas Rangers. His career record was 22-23 with an ERA of 5.23 in 235 appearances.

RANK #121 – JIM ROOKER (#13) – Starting Pitcher (1969-1972)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 966.47
26th Royals Player in Franchise History

Jim Rooker was selected from the Detroit Tigers in the 1968 Expansion draft to play for the Kansas City Royals. He became part of the starting rotation in the 1969 season. Despite having a respectable 3.75 ERA, Rooker’s record was only 4-16. On July 7, 1969, Rooker became the first Royal to hit two home runs in one game against the Minnesota Twins, despite being a pitcher. Rooker improved his record to 10-15 in 1970. On June 4, 1970, Rooker pitched a no-hitter 11 1/3 innings against the New York Yankees before taking the loss. In 1972, he was traded back the the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Gene Garber. Rooker holds the club record for the most home runs by a pitcher in franchise history with five. He also had 32 hits, 20 runs and 23 RBIs, more than any other pitcher in Kansas City history.

RANK #120 – BOB HAMELIN (#3) – Designated Hitter (1993-1996)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 968.34
356th Royals Player in Franchise History

Bob Hamelin was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1988. He made his major league debut on September 12, 1993 and played 16 games late in that season. In 1994, Bob Hamelin became the first rookie in Royals history to start on opening day as designated hitter. He hit six home runs in his first month in the majors and was batting .361. Hamelin ended up hitting 24 home runs on the season along with 65 RBIs and a .282 batting average. The season, however, was cut short by the baseball strike, but Hamelin did manage to win the American League Rookie-of-the-Year honors. The 1995 season was not so pleasant. Hamelin only managed a .168 batting average and was sent down to AAA Omaha more than once. In 1996, Hamelin was the opening day first baseman for the Royals. He continued to have problems and by April 22, he only had a .184 batting average and one home run. Jose Offerman was moved to first base from shortstop and Hamelin was moved back to the designated hitter position to concentrate on his batting. After a brief time at AAA Omaha, Hamelin came back with some power and was able to raise his average to .255. In 1997, after a miserable spring training, the Royals had seen enough and they released Hamelin. He would eventually be picked up by the Detroit Tigers. Hamelin hit a career .241 for the Kansas City Royals with 42 home runs. His career 648 plate appearances as a designated hitter is sixth all-time in franchise history.

RANK #119 – PAT SHERIDAN (#15) – Right Field (1981-1985)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 976.39
167th Royals Player in Franchise History

Pat Sheridan was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1979. He made his major league debut on September 16, 1981. He only appeared in three games that season and did not return to the major leagues until 1983. This time around, Sheridan became the everyday right fielder for the Royals, batting an impressive .270 and stealing 12 bases. He began the 1984 season in center field in place of the injured Willie Wilson. By mid-May, Sheridan returned right field. His batting average went up to .283 and stole 19 bases. His best game came May 19, 1984 against the Texas Rangers when Sheridan hit a grand slam home run in a 6-2 victory. In 1985, his performance slipped to a .228 batting average. Although beginning the season as a starting outfielder, his lack of power prompted the Royals to acquire Lonnie Smith from the Cardinals. Sheridan’s role for the remainder of the season was as a utility outfielder. Sheridan represented the Royals in the nearly every game of the 1984 ALCS, 1985 ALCS and the 1985 World Series. He started four of the seven games of the 1985 World Series in right field. Sheridan was released the following year and picked up by the Detroit Tigers. He hit .267 in his Royals career with 42 stolen bases. He played 1,632 1/3 innings in right field.

RANK #118 – KENDRYS MORALES (#25) – Designated Hitter (2015-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 977.48
800th Royals Player in Franchise History

Veteran Kendrys Morales signed as a free agent in 2015 after playing for the Seattle Mariners. Morales defected from Cuba after eight attempts, which landed him in jail several times. He was brought to Kansas City to replace Billy Butler as designated hitter. Morales hit .302 after the All-Star break and hit 22 home runs during the season. Morales was brought in occasionally to play first base for Eric Hosmer when playing in an interleague game. His 106 RBIs during the season was the best on the team and sixth in the American League. One of his best games of the season was at home against the St. Louis Cardinals in which he hit two home runs and drove in five RBIs to help the Royals win 5-0. Another game that etched his name in the record books came on September 20 in Detroit against the Tigers. Morales went 4-4 with three home runs, a triple and five runs scored. He broke George Brett’s single game record with 15 total bases in the game and became only the seventh player since 1900 to accomplish the feat in the major leagues. His consistent power hitting helped the Royals earn their second playoff-berth in a row. During the ALDS against the Houston Astros, Morales hit three home runs and drove in six RBIs. He hit another home run during the Toronto ALCS series. Unfortunately, his playing time was limited in the World Series because of the lack of a designated hitter in the National League park. However, his efforts in the postseason helped the Royals win their second-ever World Series title. He was also named the winner of the 2015 Outstanding Designated Hitter Award. Morales is currently playing for the Royals as designated hitter.

RANK #117 – BRIAN BANNISTER (#19) – Starting Pitcher (2007-2010)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 997.99
654th Royals Player in Franchise History

Brian Bannister was traded by the New York Mets to the Kansas City Royals for relief pitcher Ambiorix Burgos. Brian is the son of all-star pitcher Floyd Bannister, who played for the Royals between 1988 and 1989. In his first season, Bannister became a part of the Royals starting rotation. In June, he was one of only two pitchers to win five games during the month and sported an ERA of 2.75. He was named the Rookie-of-the-Month and finished the season in third place for American League Rookie-of-the-Year honors. He ended the season with a 3.87 ERA and a 12-9 record, leading the team in wins for the season. Bannister had a major downturn in 2008 when his ERA shot up to 5.76, giving up a major league leading four grand slams for the season. In 2009, Bannister turned things around until he suffered a season-ending rotator cuff injury. In 2010 season, Bannister split time between Kansas City and the minor leagues. It would be his last season in the major leagues. Bannister finished his Royals career with a 35-49 record and ERA of 5.13 in 108 starts.

RANK #116 – CHRIS HANEY (#33) – Starting Pitcher (2007-2010)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,015.46
338th Royals Player in Franchise History

Chris Haney was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Bill Sampen, by the Montreal Expos for Archie Corbin and Sean Berry in August of 1992. He was immediately placed in the starting lineup, starting seven games in his first season with the Royals with a 3.86 ERA. Haney began the 1993 season at AAA Omaha before being called up to Kansas City. He started the remainder of the season, but had a disappointing 6.06 ERA and 9-9 record. Most of 1994 was spent in Omaha, but in 1995, he was recalled to the Royals with great success. His 1995 ERA dropped to 3.65 in 13 starts for the Royals. His big break came in 1996, when he started 35 games for the Kansas City. He became the second-most productive starter behind Tim Belcher and had a career high 228 innings pitched. Although giving up a league-leading 267 hits, Haney managed a 10-14 record and 4.70 ERA. The next season saw Haney in the minors again for most of the time, but in 1998, he returned to the Royals for most of the season. That season, he split time as a starter and relief pitcher and his ERA shot up to 7.03. His contract was sold to the Chicago Cubs in September. Haney had a 33-40 record with the Royals in 99 starts.

RANK #115 – MARK LITTELL (#17) – Closing Pitcher (1973-1977)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,020.185
79th Royals Player in Franchise History

Mark Littell was selected in the 1971 baseball draft by the Kansas City Royals. Littell made his major league debut on June 14, 1973. He was the youngest pitcher ever to start for the Royals until Bret Saberhagen in 1984. He was brought up from AAA to start seven games in June and July. He posted a 1-4 record with a 5.68 ERA. He was given the nickname “Air Head” by his teammates because they believed him a bit flaky. He spent the entire 1974 season and most of the 1975 season at AAA Omaha. He was brought back up in 1976 as a closer for the Royals, making 60 appearances with an amazing 2.08 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 104 innings pitched. He did not give up an earned run in his first 17 2/3 innings that season. He made 16 saves that season and was named the Royals Pitcher-of-the-Year in the first year that the Royals made the playoffs. He closed most of the 1977 season with a 3.61 ERA in 104 2/3 innings pitched, spot-starting five games, struck out 106 on the season. At the end of the season, the Royals felt they needed a left-hander in the bullpen, so they traded Littell, along with catcher Buck Martinez, to the St. Louis Cardinals for Al “The Mad Hungarian” Hrabosky. Littell had an 3.32 ERA in his 123 appearances with the Royals. Littell, along with Steve Mingori and Hipolito Pichardo, are the only Royals pitchers to have at bats in the designated hitter age of baseball prior to interleague play in 1997.

RANK #114 – ROGER NELSON (#35) – Starting Pitcher (1969-1972, 1976)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,020.186
17th Royals Player in Franchise History

Roger “Spider” Nelson was the first overall pick in the 1968 Expansion Draft by the Kansas City Royals. In the Royals inaugural season, Nelson made an immediate impact by pitching a 3.31 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 29 starts. Although he only had a 7-13 record in that first season, Nelson along with Wally Bunker became a formidable pair of starters for the Royals. However, injuries took its toll and Nelson pitched very little over the next two seasons. But by 1972, he bounced back with a career year, pitching an 11-6 record with a 2.02 ERA, 120 strikeouts and only 31 walks. In his last game of 1972, which was also the last game in Municipal Stadium history, Nelson pitched a complete game shutout of the Texas Rangers. At the end of the season, Nelson was named the Royals Player-of-the-Year. After the 1972 season, Nelson was traded, along with Richie Scheinblum, to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Wayne Simpson and Hal McRae. He bounced around several teams over the next few years until being signed by the Royals again in 1976. He only pitched three games before officially retiring. He pitched 418 1/3 innings in 83 appearances with the Royals.

RANK #113 – LUIS AQUINO (#27) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1988-1992)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,021.31
262nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Luis Aquino was traded to the Kansas City Royals from the Toronto Blue Jays for Juan Beniquez in July of 1987. After throwing a no-hitter in the minor leagues, Aquino was promoted to the Royals and in his first seven games he pitched a 2.79 ERA. He earned a spot in the bullpen in 1989 with some spot starts, recording a 3.50 ERA. On July 15, 1989, Aquino pitched a complete game 7-1 victory over the New York Yankees. He missed part of the 1990 season with a chest injury, but managed a 3.16 ERA, 4-1 record, and 28 strikeouts in 20 appearances. In 1991, he again pitched both as a starter and from the bullpen. On June 28, 1991, Aquino pitched a 11-0 complete game shutout of the Oakland Athletics, striking out seven. In his last season with the Royals, he missed three months of the beginning of the season with a shoulder injury. When he returned, he started in 13 of his 15 games of the season with an ERA of 4.52. After the season, his contract was sold to the newly created Florida Marlins. Aquino’s overall record with the Royals was 22-19 with 55 starts in 114 appearances.

RANK #112 – DAVID CONE (#17) – Starting Pitcher (1986, 1993-1994)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,024.62
227th Royals Player in Franchise History

David Cone was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. He was selected in the draft by Kansas City in 1981. He made his major league debut on June 8, 1986. In his first year in the majors, Cone had a rough time as a relief pitcher. He made only 11 appearances and ended with a 5.56 ERA. Cone was traded in 1987 to the New York Mets, along with a minor league player, for Ed Hearn, Rick Anderson and a minor league player. While in New York, Cone had a brilliant career including a no-hitter. After 5 1/2 seasons in New York, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992. After the 1992 season, he signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Royals, becoming the highest paid pitcher in baseball. His first season was a disappointment for Cone. He finished 1993 with a 11-14 record with a 3.33 ERA. However, Cone had a fantastic season in 1994. He pitched a 2.94 ERA with a 16-5 record in the strike-shortened season. Between May 11 and May 22, 1994, Cone pitched three straight complete game shutouts against the Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners and California Angels, respectively. He finished the season the American League Cy Young Award winner. When the players went on strike that ended the season, Cone became one of the Major League Baseball Players Association representatives in the negotiations with Major League Baseball. In April of 1995, Kansas City traded Cone to the Toronto Blue Jays for Chris Stynes and two other minor league players. Cone had a 3.29 career ERA with the Royals and a 27-19 record. He had 344 strikeouts in 449 innings pitched with the Royals.

RANK #111 – BILL PECOTA (#32) – Utility Player (1986-1991)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,035.69
234th Royals Player in Franchise History

Bill Pecota was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1981. He broke into the majors in 1986 in some spot appearances in the infield. Pecota batted .254 in 445 appearances with the Kansas City Royals. He earned the nickname “I-29” due to the number of times he travelled between Kansas City and AAA Omaha. His best season was in 1991 when he became the primary third baseman for the team for the injured Kevin Seitzer. His best game came in the first game of a doubleheader against the New York Yankees on July 14, 1989, when he went 3-5 with two home runs and three RBIs in a 14-5 victory. In late 1991, he was traded, along with Bret Saberhagen, to the New York Mets for Kevin McReynolds, Gregg Jefferies and Keith Miller. Pecota had two inside-the-park home runs while playing with the Royals. He became the only Royals player in franchise history to play every position during his career in Kansas City. He made his only pitching appearance on June 24, 1991 against the the California Angels, pitching two innings with one earned run. Bill Pecota also has the distinction of having a baseball statistic named after him, called PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm). PECOTA was created in 2002 as a sabermetric system of forecasting player performance.

RANK #110 – DAVID HOWARD (#6) – Shortstop (1991-1997)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,037.74
304th Royals Player in Franchise History

David Howard was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1987. He made his major league debut on April 14, 1991 at second base against the New York Yankees. Howard primarily played shortstop in 1991, but did play four other positions. He only batted .214 in his first season. His second season only saw slight improvements to his batting average and he spent most of 1993 and 1994 in the minor leagues or on the disabled list. He was an emergency pitcher for one game in 1994 where he pitched two innings and only gave up one run. In 1995, he became a full-time utility player for the Royals again, splitting time between second base, shortstop and the outfield. His best season came in 1996 when he became the everyday shortstop for the Royals. Although he only hit .219, he had the best fielding percentage of any shortstop in the American League. In the off-season, the Royals had acquired shortstop Jay Bell, and Howard was cast back into the role of utility player. At the end of the season, Howard was granted free agency and he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. Howard is eighth all-time in Royals history for innings played at shortstop with 2,626 2/3. He finished his Royals career with a .229 batting average.

RANK #109 – JORGE ORTA (#3) – Designated Hitter (1984-1987)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,045.32
202nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Jorge Orta was traded to the Kansas City Royals from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Willie Aikens in late 1983. He began the season as a backup outfielder. However, due to his poor performance in the outfield, Orta was moved to designated hitter and platooned in that role with the aging Hal McRae. The platoon was very successful, utilizing Orta’s left-handed bat and McRae’s right-handed swing. His first season with the Royals was outstanding, hitting .298 with nine home runs. The two continued to platoon in the 1985 season and both players hit for a combined 19 home runs and 114 RBIs. He became only the fifth Royals player to start at designated hitter on opening day of 1985. In the 1985 World Series, there was not designated hitter, so Orta was relegated to pinch hitting. In Game 6, Orta was brought in to pinch hit for outfielder Darryl Motley. His weak single was one of the most controversial calls in World Series history because he was called safe when the replay clearly showed that he was out. The Royals went on to win Game 6 in the bottom of the ninth inning and move on to win the World Series. McRae and Orta went on platooning the designated hitter position in 1986 with moderate success, but age began taking its toll on both players. However, Orta did have the best game of his Kansas City career on September 14, 1986 against the Seattle Mariners when he went 3-5 with a home run and four RBIs in the 10-3 victory. In 1987, Kevin Seitzer was moved to third base and Steve Balboni was made the primary designated hitter. Both Orta and Hal McRae were released in mid-July. Orta hit .277 in his Royals career with 24 home runs and 145 RBIs. He is fifth all-time in franchise history for plate appearances as designated hitter with 1,182.

RANK #108 – PETE LACOCK (#8) – First Base (1977-1980)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,046.17
116th Royals Player in Franchise History

Pete LaCock came to the Kansas City Royals as part of a three-team trade of minor league players from the Chicago Cubs in late 1976. He is the son of Peter Marshall, the long-time host of the television show “Hollywood Squares.” In his first season, LaCock was primarily a utility player and pinch hitter. With the departure of John Mayberry, LaCock split time with Clint Hurdle at first base and outfield. By 1979, he was the everyday first baseman and in 1980 was in the opening day lineup. He played in three League Championships and made a brief appearance in the 1980 World Series at first base. LaCock hit .277 in his career with the Royals along with 12 home runs and 151 RBIs. He only had 88 strikeouts out of 1104 at-bats. Possibly his best game was on June 24, 1978 against the Oakland Athletics when he hit 2-3 with an intentional walk, home run and four RBIs. After the 1980 season, LaCock was granted free agency and ended his major league career. LaCock played 1,961 1/3 innings at first base, which places him 10th all-time in franchise history at that position.

RANK #107 – AARON CROW (#43) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2011-2014)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,064.58
727th Royals Player in Franchise History

Aaron Crow was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the first round in 2009. Crow grew up outside Topeka, Kansas and pitched for the University of Missouri. Crow made his major league debut on March 31, 2011. He was the best middle relief pitcher on the staff that season. His ERA was only 2.08 before the all-star break. He was named to the All-Star Game in 2011 as a rookie, but did not pitch. Crow struggled toward the end of the season, but still had a 2.76 season ERA with 65 strikeouts in 62 innings pitched. His workload increased in 2012, but his ERA rose to 3.48. In 2013, he was a part of the best bullpen in the American League with a 44 strikeouts in 48 innings pitched. His 2014 season, however, was not as good. Despite having a 6-1 record, his ERA rose to 4.12 and he had three blown saves. Before the all-star break, Crow’s ERA was a respectable 2.75. After the break, Crow started having trouble with his command. Despite being in the best bullpen in baseball, Crow was left off the 25-man roster when the Royals made the post-season for the first time in 29 years. After the season, Kansas City traded Aaron Crow to the Miami Marlins for Brian Flynn and a minor league pitcher. His career record with the Royals in 20-11 with six saves and 57 holds. He is third all-time in holds for the Royals behind Kelvin Herrera and Jason Grimsley.

RANK #106 – TED ABERNATHY (#36) – Closing Pitcher (1970-1972)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,065.39
49th Royals Player in Franchise History

Ted Abernathy was traded to the Kansas City Royals for Chris Zachary in 1970. Abernathy went on to become the first Royals pitcher to post more than 20 saves in a season. He had a very distinctive side-arm pitch due to an injury and surgery he had early in his baseball career. He pitched 144 games in relief with 2.31 ERA in his Royals career. Abernathy made an immediate impact upon his arrival with Kansas City when he went 9-3 in his first season. In 1972, as the oldest player in the American League at 39 years, Abernathy pitched 45 games in relief with a 1.70 ERA. He was released at the end of the 1972 season. Abernathy finished his career with the Kansas City Royals after 13 years in the majors. He appeared in 144 games.

RANK #105 – JAMES SHIELDS (#33) – Starting Pitcher (2013-2014)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,066.30
761st Royals Player in Franchise History

James Shields was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with pitcher Wade Davis and utility player Elliot Johnson, for Jake Odorizzi, Wil Myers, and two minor league players from the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013. Shields was a big gamble for the Royals that paid off. Shields became the ace of the rotation in 2013, leading the league in games started. He was known as “Big Game James,” after his boyhood hero James Worthy of the Los Angeles Lakers. During the 2013 season, he was seventh in the league in strikeouts with 196. He had a 13-9 record with a 3.15 ERA, one of the best in the major leagues. Shields was very consistent throughout the season, although he lacked run support. His abilities carried over to the 2014 season, leading the team with 14 victories along with Yordano Ventura. He averaged 6 2/3 innings per game and led the team in strikeouts with 180. His best game came on August 9 when he had a complete game shutout of the San Francisco Giants, striking out five. He led the league in starts with 34 and was third in batters faced. Shields was the ace pitcher on one of the best starting rotations in baseball and helped lead the Royals to their first playoff berth in 29 years. Unfortunately, Shields did not perform well in the post-season. Shields had a 6.12 ERA and a 1-2 record in the post-season. After the World Series, Shields became a free agent and signed with the San Diego Padres. He left the Royals with a 27-17 record and a 3.18 ERA in 68 starts.

RANK #104 – DARRYL MOTLEY (#24) – Utility Outfield (1981-1986)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,066.87
165th Royals Player in Franchise History

Darryl Motley was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1978. He made his major league debut starting in right field on August 10, 1981 against the Baltimore Orioles. He only played 42 games in 1981 before being sent to the minor leagues for all of the 1982 season. In 1983, he was only brought up for 15 games. His breakout year was 1984 when he played the majority of the season in left field. He showed power by hitting 15 home runs with a batting average of .284. One of his best games came May 25, 1984 in an 8-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Motley hit 3-4 with a triple, home run, five RBIs and three runs. The other great game came on September 24 of that same year when Motley hit a grand slam against the California Angels. In 1985, his production faded as his batting average dropped to .222. Motley ended up platooning with Pat Sheridan in right field for the season. Motley played in both the 1984 and 1985 ALCS games, but his most memorable game came in Game 7 of the 1985 World Series. In Game 7, Motley hit a two-run home run and caught the final out off a hit from St. Louis Cardinal Andy Van Slyke to win the World Series. Unfortunately, his production faded even further in 1986 and he was eventually traded in September to the Atlanta Braves for pitcher Steve Shields. He did have one shining moment in 1986 when he hit his second career grand slam against the New York Yankees on August 10, 1986. Motley hit a career .245 for the Royals. Motley played 1,155 2/3 innings in left field and his 1,780 innings played in right field is seventh all-time franchise history.

RANK #103 – MIKE AVILES (#30) – Utility Infield (2008-2011)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,067.71
674th Royals Player in Franchise History

Mike Aviles was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2003. He made his major league debut on May 29, 2008. He replaced the struggling Tony Pena, Jr. as starting shortstop for the Royals. He hit an amazing .325 in 102 appearances with the Royals with 10 home runs and 51 RBIs. The Royals named him Player of the Year in 2008 and he finished fourth in the American League Rookie-of-the-Year Awards. His 2009 season was shortened due to an injury sustained while representing Puerto Rico at the World Baseball Classic. He required Tommy John surgery and he missed most of the season. In 2010, Aviles was moved to second base for most of the season after the Royals had acquired Yuniesky Betancourt. Fully recovered from his injury, Aviles hit .304 during the season with eight home runs and 14 stolen bases. Aviles was moved yet again in 2011, this time to third base. He struggled offensively and he was demoted to AAA Omaha to make room for rookie Mike Moustakas. He was traded in July of 2011 to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Yamaico Navarro. Mike Aviles finished with a .286 batting average for the Royals. He played 1,150 innings at shortstop and 1,036 2/3 innings at second base while in Kansas City.

RANK #102 – YORDANO VENTURA (#30) – Starting Pitcher (2013-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,068.93
775th Royals Player in Franchise History

Yordano Ventura was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Royals in 2008, when he was only 17 years old in the Dominican Republic. He was brought up to the big leagues in September of 2013 and pitched three games. He astounded players with his fastball which was clocked at over 100 miles per hour. In 2014, Ventura made the starting rotation and became an instant success. Dubbed “Ace” Ventura, he led the team, along with James Shields, with 14 victories. He recorded 10 strikeouts against the San Diego Padres on May 5 in a no-decision. He had more starts than any other rookie pitcher in Royals history. He was considered the hardest-throwing starting pitcher in baseball. Ventura helped catapult the Royals into their first playoff berth in 29 years. Despite having a very shaky appearance in the Wild Card game against the Oakland Athletics, Ventura dazzled during the rest of the playoffs. His 3.20 ERA was the best among Royals’ starting pitchers. He pitched a 1.46 ERA in the World Series with a crucial victory in Game 6 against the San Francisco Giants. In 2015, he was named the Opening Day starter for the Royals. Unfortunately, he struggled most of the season. He had been suspended due to his temper on the mound and his ERA was 4.73 by the All-Star break. After August 1, Ventura turned things around. He went 8-1 with a 3.23 ERA during that span and recorded 86 strikeouts in 80 innings pitched. He helped Kansas City to their second playoff berth in a row. Ventura struggled in the ALDS with a 0-1 record and a 7.74 ERA in two appearances. Things improved during the ALCS against Toronto, pitching 10 2/3 innings with a 3.38 ERA. He only made one start in the World Series, giving up five runs in 3 1/3 innings and had the only loss for the Royals against the New York Mets. Despite this setback, the Royals were able to win the World Series for the second time in franchise history. He has a 3.61 career ERA in Kansas City and 27-19 record as of 2015. Ventura is still pitching for the Kansas City Royals.

RANK #101 – JIM WOHLFORD (#6) – Left Field (1972-1976)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,072.73
70th Royals Player in Franchise History

Jim Wohlford was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1970. Wohlford had his major league debut on September 1, 1972 against the Boston Red Sox. He spent most of 1972 and 1973 in the minor leagues. His big break came in 1974 when he became the full-time left fielder for the Royals. He hit .271 with 16 stolen bases. His best game came on October 2, 1974 against the Chicago White Sox. Wohlford hit 3-4 with a double and three RBIs. His role as a starter began to diminish in 1975 when Al Cowens came on during the season. His batting average dropped to .255 with 12 stolen bases. He platooned in left field in 1976 with the hot-hitting rookie Tom Poquette. Wohlford’s batting average slumped to .249. Wohlford did make an appearance in the 1976 ALCS against the New York Yankees. Just before opening day in 1977, Wohlford was traded, along with Jamie Quirk and Bob McClure, to the Milwaukee Brewers for Jim Colborn and Darrell Porter. He finished his Royals career ninth all-time in innings played in left field at 1,969. He also had two career inside-the-park home runs for the Royals.

RANK #100 – JAMIE QUIRK (#9) – Catcher (1975-1976, 1979-1982, 1985-1988)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,080.26
102nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Jamie Quirk was selected in the first round of the free-agent draft by the Royals in 1972. He made his major league debut on September 4, 1975 when he drew a walk as a pinch hitter. Quirk went on to appear as a Royals uniform for 11 of his 17 years in the major leagues. Quirk was a very versatile player, playing every position except pitcher and center field early in his career. He finally settled down as a backup catcher by the late 1980s. Quirk played 2,214 innings as a catcher, which places him 10th all-time in Royals history. He started two games as designated hitter in the 1976 American League Championships as well as an appearance in the 1985 ALCS against Toronto. Quirk was the opening day catcher in 1980. He played for seven other teams besides the Royals in his career. Perhaps Quirk’s most important game for the Royals was when he was playing for the Cleveland Indians. On September 27, 1984, in his only at-bat for Cleveland, Quirk hit the game-winning home run for the Indians against the Minnesota Twins. The Cleveland win over the Twins allowed the Royals to clinch the division and a playoff berth in 1984. On August 22, 1987, Quirk hit his only grand slam home run in his Royals career against the Milwaukee Brewers. After his playing career, Quirk became a bullpen and bench coach for the Royals from 1994 to 2001.

RANK #99 – ALBERTO CALLASPO (#13) – Second Base (2008-2010)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,097.50
668th Royals Player in Franchise History

Alberto Callaspo was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Billy Buckner in 2007. He was a utility infielder in his first season with the Royals as a backup to Mark Grudzielanek at second base and Tony Pena, Jr. at shortstop. He hit .305 in his first season. Although he did not start the 2009 season at second base, Callaspo became the everyday player at the position and a major part of the offense. He hit .300 with 11 home runs and 73 RBIs on the season. On June 10, 2009, Callaspo hit a grand slam against the Cleveland Indians. He did not do as well on defense, posting the worst fielding percentage of any second baseman in the American League. His 2010 season went very well with eight home runs and a .275 batting average. However, by mid-July, Callaspo was traded to the Anaheim Angels in exchange for starting pitchers Sean O’Sullivan and Will Smith. Callaspo ended his Royals career tenth in franchise history in innings played at second base with 1,704 2/3 with a .293 batting average.

RANK #98 – MIKE HEDLUND (#32) – Starting Pitcher (1969-1972)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,102.65
25th Royals Player in Franchise History

Mike Hedlund was selected in the 1968 Expansion Draft from the Cleveland Indians. He was nicknamed “Booger Red” due to his red hair and freckles. In the Royals’ inaugural season, Hedlund split time between starting and relief pitching. He posted as 1.69 ERA from the bullpen and a 3.24 ERA overall in his first season. In the off-season, Hedlund was sent to Venezuela to improve his pitching. Unfortunately, he contracted bronchitis and the “Hong Kong Flu.” Because of the illness and the loss of 30 pounds, Hedlund struggled in his second season and played most of the year at AAA Omaha. However, by 1972, Hedlund returned to Kansas City to have the best season of his career. He went 15-8 in 30 games started with an ERA of 2.71, fourth in the league. In his final season with the Royals, he began the season 0-5 as a starter and was moved to the bullpen. At the conclusion of the season, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Kurt Bevacqua. He would never play at the major league level again. Hedlund made 104 appearances with Kansas City.

RANK #97 – GIL MECHE (#55) – Starting Pitcher (2007-2010)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,104.89
645th Royals Player in Franchise History

Gil Meche signed with the Kansas City Royals in 2006 as a free agent after playing for the Seattle Mariners. His contract matched Mike Sweeney’s as the largest in club history. Meche became the opening day starting pitcher for the next three seasons. In his first two seasons, Meche led the American League in starts. His ERA over the first two season was a respectable 3.82. In 2008, he had his only winning season with the Royals with an 14-11 record. He struck out 183 during the season. His best game came on June 16, 2009 when he pitched a complete game shutout of the Arizona Diamondbacks while striking out six. However, after throwing 132 pitches in the game, Meche starting developing back problems. His ERA for the rest of the season was 8.06. After nine starts in 2010, Meche was placed on the disabled list for most of the season. He returned in 2010 to make 11 relief appearances. He was 0-5 for the 2010 season. Meche decided to retire after the season. Meche was 29-39 with the Kansas City Royals and finished his Kansas City career with a 4.27 ERA in 111 games pitched.

RANK #96 – REY SANCHEZ (#1) – Shortstop (1999-2001)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,119.82
455th Royals Player in Franchise History

Rey Sanchez signed as a free agent in 1998 after playing for the San Francisco Giants. He became the opening day shortstop all three seasons he was with the Royals. In his first season, Sanchez hit .294 with 11 stolen bases and 56 RBIs. He was considered one of the top fielding shortstops in the American League. His best game came on April 30, 1999 when he went 3-5 with a triple and four RBIs over the New York Yankees. In 2000, his offensive numbers dropped slightly, only hitting .273. In 2001, he had the best batting performance of his career with a .303 batting average by the end of the July. However, the Royals had just acquired all-star shortstop Neifi Perez from Colorado, so Sanchez was traded to the Atlanta Braves for Brad Voyles and a minor league player. Sanchez hit .289 for the Royals and is seventh all-time for innings played at shortstop with 3,177 2/3 in 377 games played.

RANK #95 – DANNY DUFFY (#23) – Starting Pitcher (2011-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,121.56
736th Royals Player in Franchise History

Danny Duffy was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2007. He made his major league debut starting a game on May 18, 2011. Duffy had 20 starts in his first season with the Royals, pitching a 5.64 ERA and a 4-8 record. After only six starts in 2012, Duffy tore his UCL and missed the rest of the season and most of 2013 season due to Tommy John Surgery. He returned on August 7, 2013 and started five games. He was shut down after his fifth start due to soreness. By 2014, Duffy was fully recovered. He began the the month of April in the bullpen, but by May was made a part of the starting rotation. Duffy had an outstanding outing on May 17, 2014 against the Baltimore Orioles, where he pitched seven scoreless innings to earn the 1-0 win. His season ERA was 2.53, one of the best in the major leagues. Duffy suffered a slight injury in September, but was able to return to the lineup for the Royals’ playoff berth. In the first appearance in the playoffs in 29 years, Duffy began pitching in long relief out of the bullpen. Duffy struggled in the World Series with a 4.91 ERA in two appearances. His struggles continued in 2015 with a 4.35 ERA in 24 starts with the Royals before being sent to the bullpen in September. He had six scoreless appearances in the bullpen and was named to the postseason pitching staff for Kansas City. He struggled in the postseason with a 6.00 ERA in six appearances, but did earn a win in the ALCS against Toronto. Duffy helped the Royals win the second-ever World Series Title. He has a career 3.80 ERA with the Royals in 92 appearances as of 2015. Duffy is still pitching for the Royals.

RANK #94 – MATT STAIRS (#12) – Utility Player (2004-2006)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,129.62
567th Royals Player in Franchise History

Matt Stairs signed as a free agent to play for the Kansas City Royals after playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Stairs was a Canadian player who would go on to play for 12 different teams, more than any other position player in major league history. In his first season, Stairs was a everyday utility player. He split time as an outfielder, first baseman, and designated hitter. Stairs hit .267 with 18 home runs and 66 RBIs. On April 20, 2004, Stairs hit his first grand slam as a Royals player against the Cleveland Indians. In 2005, Stairs still was utilized in the utility role, but played much more at first base, splitting time with Mike Sweeney. He continued to be a steady hitter, driving in 13 home runs. He hit his second grand slam on July 14, 2005 against the Detroit Tigers. During the 2006 season, Stairs saw even more time at designated hitter until he was traded to the Texas Rangers in late July for Jose Diaz. Stairs hit .269 in 330 appearances for the Royals and hit 39 home runs while in Kansas City.

RANK #93 – MARK QUINN (#14) – Left Field (1999-2002)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,129.91
473rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Mark Quinn was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1995. He made his major league debut on September 14, 1999. In his 17 appearances in 1999, Quinn hit .333 with six home runs. Two of his home runs came in his first game, becoming only the third major league player ever to do so in the first career game. His performance earned him a chance to start on opening day in 2000 at designated hitter. Quinn hit .294 in his first full season in the major leagues. He hit his first career grand slam on September 3, 2000 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Quinn’s performance in the 2000 season earned him American League Rookie-of-the-Year honors. He continued to play well in 2001, splitting time between left and right field and hitting .269 with 17 home runs. However, he missed the beginning of the 2002 season due to an off-season “kung fu” injury while sparring with his brother. He only played 23 games and was sent down to the minors by the early part of June. Quinn was released from the Royals in 2003 and he signed with the San Diego Padres. He never played in the major leagues again. He hit .282 with the Kansas City Royals along with hitting 45 home runs. He logged 1,211 1/3 innings in left field.

RANK #92 – TOM BURGMEIER (#22) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1969-1973)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,131.07
10th Royals Player in Franchise History

Tom Burgmeier was acquired from the California Angels in the 1968 Expansion Draft. He became the first relief pitcher in Royals history on opening day of 1969 when he relieved Wally Bunker in the sixth inning. In his first season, Burgmeier was primarily middle relief in front of Moe Drabowsky and had a 4.17 ERA. By 1970, his ERA dropped to 3.16 and posted 43 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings. In 1971, he split closing duties with Ted Abernathy and by 1972, he became the primary closer for the Royals. In 1973, Tom Burgmeier had a disastrous season and was demoted to AAA Omaha in May. Eventually, he would be traded to the Minnesota Twins for a minor league player. Burgmeier had a 4.33 ERA with the Kansas City Royals and a 24-16 record in 196 pitching appearances. Eventually, he became a pitching coach for the Royals in 1991 and between 1998 and 2000.

RANK #91 – LONNIE SMITH (#41) – Left Field (1985-1987)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,132.81
217th Royals Player in Franchise History

After the departure of Amos Otis in 1983, the Kansas City Royals had a hard time finding an everyday left fielder. Then, in 1985, the Royals traded minor league outfielder John Morris to the St. Louis Cardinals for Lonnie Smith. Nicknamed “Skates,” Smith made an immediate impact. That season, Smith batted .257 with 40 stolen bases. He helped the Royals win the 1985 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, becoming the only player in baseball history to play in the World Series against the team that traded him away in the same season. After the season, it was discovered that Smith was doing cocaine. The following spring training, it was announced that Smith, along with six other players in the league, would be suspended for one year unless they donated 10% of their salaries to charity, performed community service and agreed to random drug testing. In the 1986 season, Smith became a solid part of the outfield batting .287 with 26 stolen bases. However, at the end of the season, he was allowed to become a free agent. No team picked him up and he was forced to return to the Royals in 1987. However, the Royals had acquired Danny Tartabull and Bo Jackson, which reduced his role on the team. Smith was released at the end of the 1987 season. Lonnie Smith is sixth all-time in innings played in left field with 2,164 1/3 innings. His career batting average for the Royals is .270 and he amassed 75 stolen bases in 95 tries. Smith signed with the Atlanta Braves the following season.

RANK #90 – BRUCE DAL CANTON (#43) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1971-1975)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,134.57
56th Royals Player in Franchise History

Bruce Dal Canton was a part of a trade that also brought Freddie Patek and Jerry May to the Royals in late 1970 from the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jackie Hernandez, Bob Johnson and Jim Campanis. He split time with the Royals as a starter and a relief pitcher. He started in 65 of his 127 games with the Royals and had a 3.75 ERA. His Royals record was 26-27 with five saves. He was a bit wild as a pitcher, leading the American League with 16 in 1974. Despite this, 1974 was his best year with a 3.13 ERA, nine complete games and 96 strikeouts. His best game was on September 3, 1974 against the Chicago White Sox when he pitched a complete game shutout with eight strikeouts and only two earned runs. The Royals eventually traded Dal Canton in 1975 in a four-player deal that sent him to the Atlanta Braves. He pitched 555 innings for Kansas City.

RANK #89 – CLINT HURDLE (#10) – Right Field (1977-1981)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,142.50
123rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Clint Hurdle was a first round draft pick for the Kansas City Royals in 1975. He made his major league debut on September 18, 1977 and only made nine appearances that season. In 1978, Clint Hurdle was the opening day first baseman for the Royals. Prior to opening day, Hurdle was featured as “This Year’s Phenom” in baseball by Sports Illustrated and he was featured on the cover of the magazine. Many have said that this may have jinxed his career. He hit .264 in his first season with only seven home runs and 56 RBIs. He split his time evenly between first base, right field and left field. Hurdle went 3-8 in four appearances in the 1978 ALCS against the New York Yankees, including a triple and one RBI. In 1979, he was made exclusively a utility outfielder, but was sent to the minors in June and did not return until mid-August. In 1980, Hurdle bounced back and became the full-time right fielder for the Royals, hitting .294 with 10 home runs in the season. He hit .417 in the 1980 World Series with a double and a stolen base. In 1981, Hurdle was hitting phenomenally with an early batting average over .400 in April. But he was plagued with injury for most of the season. He still managed to hit .329 for the season, but only in 28 appearances. He started all three games in right field during the 1981 Division Series, hitting .273. When the season ended, Hurdle was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for a minor league pitcher. He hit .276 in his career as a Royals player with 26 home runs. His 1,706 innings in right field is eighth all-time in that position in franchise history.

RANK #88 – JOSE GUILLEN (#11) – Right Field (2008-2010)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,148.47
665th Royals Player in Franchise History

Jose Guillen signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Royals after playing for the Seattle Mariners. In his first season, Guillen split his time in right field with Mark Teahen and split his other games as designated hitter with Billy Butler. He led the team in home runs with 20, including a grand slam on June 7 off of Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees. He was suppose to serve a suspension because his name was brought up in the Mitchell Report for using performance-enhancing drugs. However, the suspension was rescinded when a deal was made between the players’ union and MLB. In 2009, Guillen only hit .242 with nine home runs. His season was cut short by an injury in which he missed the month of August. In 2010, Guillen was moved primarily to designated hitter. He hit .255 with 16 home runs. He was traded in August to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for a minor league player. Guillen’s batting average with the Kansas City Royals was .256 with 45 home runs and 199 RBIs. His 577 plate appearances at designated hitter is eighth all-time in franchise history. He played 1,212 1/3 innings in right field for Kansas City.

RANK #87 – JEFF FRANCOEUR (#21) – Right Field (2011-2013)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,159.53
723rd Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Melky Cabrera, Alcides Escobar and Matt Treanor)

Jeff Francoeur signed with the Kansas City Royals as a free agent after playing for the Texas Rangers. Francoeur was the opening day right fielder for the Royals in 2011. He had a great season, batting .285 with 20 home runs and 22 stolen bases. Francoeur led the American league with assists from right field with 16 and led in putouts with 327. Francoeur, along with Melky Cabrera and Alex Gordon, became the best outfield in major league baseball. His best game came on July 3, 2011 when he went 3-6 with a double and three RBIs. His offense waned in 2012 with a batting average of .235 with 16 home runs. Defensively, Francoeur was still one of the best fielding right fielders in the game. However, the 2013 was a career low for Francoeur, hitting only .208 with three home runs in 59 appearances. The Royals released Francoeur in early July of 2013 and he was picked up by the San Francisco Giants. Francoeur is fourth all-time for innings played in right field with 3,074 2/3. He hit .254 in his Royals career. He is currently playing for the Atlanta Braves.

RANK #86 – GREG GAGNE (#7) – Shortstop (1993-1995)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,160.17
342nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Greg Gagne signed with the Kansas City Royals in 1992 after playing with the Minnesota Twins. Gagne was considered one of the best defensive shortstops in all of baseball, and he did not disappoint in his first season with the Royals. He led the American League with the fewest errors and best fielding percentage of any shortstop. He hit a respectable .280 with 10 home runs and 57 RBIs. On July 29, 1993, Gagne hit a grand slam against the Texas Rangers. He was also joined by his former teammate with the Twins, Gary Gaetti, at third base at mid-season. The strike-shortened season of 1994 was a down year for Gagne. He was caught stealing 17 times, leading the American League. He only hit .259 for the season, but his fielding continued to be superb. On May 14, 1994, he was part of only the fourth triple play in Royals history, going 5-4-3 on the play. His 1995 season was a mirror of his previous season as Gagne continued to be a major part of the Royals infield. However, Gagne did not re-sign with the Royals after the season and he was picked up by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gagne hit a career .266 with the Royals and is sixth all-time in innings played at shortstop with 3,261 in 386 games played.

RANK #85 – JARROD DYSON (#1) – Center Field (2010-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,162.62
722nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Jarrod Dyson was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2006. He was the 1,475th overall pick in the draft, making him the lowest draft pick in franchise history to make the big leagues. He made his major league debut on September 7, 2010. In the month of September, Dyson stole nine bases in 18 games despite having a .211 batting average. Dyson was selected to the roster at the start of the 2011 season, but by mid-May, he was hitting only .167 and was demoted to AAA Omaha. He was only called up for a few games the remainder of the 2011 season. His 2012 season was much improved and became the everyday center fielder for the Royals. Dyson hit .260 with 30 stolen bases during the season. Dyson was easily the fastest member of the Royals organization. In the 2013 season, Dyson split time with Lorenzo Cain in center field. He had a career high 34 stolen bases and was only caught six times. His best game came on May 10, 2013 when he went 1-3 with a homerun and three RBIs. Dyson became the Royals utility outfielder for 2014, splitting time with Lorenzo Cain in center field. He led the team with 36 stolen bases as the Royals led the major leagues in that category. Dyson was also instrumental in helping the Royals make their first playoff appearance in 29 years. He had a limited role in the playoffs, but started in three games in the World Series when the Royals played under National League rules which left designated hitter Billy Butler out of the lineup. Dyson stole four bases in the 2014 post-season and coined the phrase “That What Speed Do,” which became nationally popular during the playoffs. In 2015, Dyson continued as a valued reserve outfielder, hitting .250 with 26 stolen bases. During the season, he became the all-time leader in pinch-running appearances with 78 in his career. His efforts helped the Kansas City Royals win their second-ever World Series championship in 2015. As of the end of 2015, Dyson is hitting .255 with the Kansas City Royals and has 146 career stolen bases. He has only been caught stealing 23 times in his career. He is currently playing with the Royals.

RANK #84 – GARY GAETTI (#8) – Third Base (1993-1995)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,208.38
351st Royals Player in Franchise History

After being released in June of 1993 by the California Angels, Gary Gaetti signed with the Kansas City Royals. Gaetti was having a horrible season with the Angels and was given a second chance with the Royals. He formerly played for the Northwest Missouri State University baseball team. The Royals were desperately looking for a third baseman after the loss of Keith Miller to injury. Gaetti did not disappoint when he arrived. He hit .256 in 82 games played for the Royals, including 14 home runs. He was also reunited with his teammate Greg Gagne from his days with the Minnesota Twins. On July 29, 1993, one of his home runs was a grand slam off of Bob Patterson of the Texas Rangers. In the strike-shortened season of 1994, Gaetti continued to hit with power, driving in 12 home runs. The 1995 season was Gaetti’s best as a member of the Royals. He hit .261 with 96 RBIs. He came within one home run of tying the Royals home run record which is held by Steve Balboni. He hit his second grand slam as a Royals player, again off a Texas pitcher, on May 29, 1995. At the end of the season, Gaetti signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. He ended his career with the Royals having a .267 average with 61 home runs. He is also eighth all-time for innings at third base with 2,332 2/3.

RANK #83 – MARK GRUDZIELANEK (#15) – Second Base (2006-2008)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,209.55
615th Royals Player in Franchise History

Mark Grudzielanek signed as a free agent to the Kansas City Royals after playing with the St. Louis Cardinals. In his first season, Grudzielanek became the everyday second baseman for the Kansas City. His season batting average was .297 with seven home runs. He was first in the American League in assists and third in fielding percentage as a second baseman. He also won the American League Gold Glove for second base. He became only the second Royals player ever to win the award at that position, the other being Frank White. In 2007, he improved his batting average to .302 with six home runs. His best game came this season in a 17-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. He hit 3-5 with a double, home run and five RBIs in the game. His 2008 season went extremely well until early August when an injury ended his season. He was released at the end of 2008 and he was picked up by the Minnesota Twins. He missed the entire 2009 season and would not play again until 2010. He was a career .300 hitter with the Royals is fourth all-time in innings played at second base with 2,769 innings.

RANK #82 – BOB OLIVER (#33) – First Base (1969-1972)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,209.55
1st Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Jerry Adair, Wally Bunker, Joe Foy, Chuck Harrison, Jackie Hernandez, Ed Kirkpatrick, Lou Piniella, and Ellie Rodriguez)

Bob Oliver was selected from the Minnesota Twins in the 1968 Expansion Draft. He was the first right fielder in Royals history on opening day in 1969. In that game, he recorded the first out in Royals history when Twins’ Ted Uhlaender popped up to right field. He was also involved in the first-ever double play (9-6) by a hit from Harmon Killebrew. Throughout that year, he split time between right and center fields. On May 4, 1969, he became the first of only three Royals to have six hits in a nine-inning game at California, one of which was a home run. Then, on July 1, 1969, he hit the first-ever Grand Slam in Royals history off a pitch from Jim Bouton of the Seattle Pilots. However, by 1970, he was moved to first base and led the team in home runs with 27. In 1971, Oliver began to split time between first base and right field. He hit a second grand slam on April 19, 1971 against the Boston Red Sox. In May of 1972, Oliver was traded to the California Angels for pitcher Tom Murphy. Oliver played 1,493 innings at first base while in Kansas City.

RANK #81 – TOM GOODWIN (#42) – Center Field (1994-1997)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,224.14
361st Royals Player in Franchise History

Tom Goodwin was claimed off waivers in 1994 after being released by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Goodwin only played two games in his first season, but by 1995, he became the opening day center fielder by the Kansas City Royals. He hit .288 in his first full season with the Royals and he led the American League in sacrifice hits and reaching base on an error. He led the team and was second in the American league in stolen bases with 50. He became one of the top defensive center fielders in the league. In 1996, he increased the number of stolen bases to 66. During his second full season, Goodwin split time between center field and left field. His best game occurred on July 7, 1996 against the Minnesota Twins when he hit 2-4 with a triple, stolen base and four RBIs. His positive offensive production continued in 1997. On July 12, 1997, major league baseball retired the #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. Goodwin, however, was allowed to continue wearing the number. It only lasted for 13 more games until he was traded to the Texas Rangers in exchange for third baseman Dean Palmer. Goodwin hit .281 in Kansas City with 150 stolen bases. He is ranked ninth all-time in innings played at center field with 2,227 1/3.

RANK #80 – JEFF KING (#7) – First Base (1997-1999)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,242.87
407th Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Jay Bell and Jermaine Dye)

Jeff King was traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates, along with Jay Bell, to the Kansas City Royals for Jeff Granger, Jeff Martin, Jeff Wallace and Joe Randa in 1996. For the first month of 1997, Jeff King was on fire offensively. He was hitting a .314 batting average with four home runs. Then, he slipped into a horrible slump. His average dropped to .229 by the end of May. He began to turn things around. He hit the first of his two grand slams of the season on June 18, 1997 against the Houston Astros. By the end of June, things were looking better, but a second slump hit. His second grand slam came on September 27, 1997 against the Chicago White Sox. But it wasn’t enough. His season ended with a .238 batting average. He did manage to hit 28 home runs on the season and 112 RBIs, but his offensive production was just not what it used to be when he was with Pittsburgh. The 1998 season went better for King. He hit 24 home runs and improved his batting average to .263. On May 23, 1999, he shocked the team and Kansas City fans by announcing his abrupt retirement from baseball. King is ninth all-time in innings played at first base with 2,408 2/3. His career average with the Royals .249 with 55 home runs and 216 RBIs.

RANK #79 – TIM BELCHER (#41) – Starting Pitcher (1996-1998)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,247.27
397th Royals Player in Franchise History

Tim Belcher signed as a free agent in 1996 after playing for the Seattle Mariners. In his first season, Belcher was a part of the starting rotation and started 35 games with a 15-11 record and a 3.92 ERA. His best game came on September 2, 1996 when he pitched a complete game shutout of the Toronto Blue Jays. In 1997, he had a 13-12 record despite his ERA rising to 5.02. He did, however, have the best fielding percentage of any pitcher in the American League. In 1998, Belcher rebounded with a 4.27 ERA and a .500 winning record in 34 starts. Belcher was the predominate starter in the rotation all three season he pitched with the Royals. Belcher had a career 4.38 ERA with the Royals in 101 starts and a 42-37 record. He was one of the few starting pitchers for Kansas City in the late 1990s with a winning record. After the 1998 season, Belcher signed with the Anaheim Angels.

RANK #78 – JEREMY GUTHRIE (#11) – Starting Pitcher (2012-2015)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,257.32
756th Royals Player in Franchise History

Jeremy Guthrie was traded by the Colorado Rockies to the Kansas City Royals for starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez in July of 2012. Guthrie instantly became the best pitcher on the starting rotation in the second half of the season, with a 3.16 ERA and a 5-3 record. In 2013, Guthrie pitched a 4.04 ERA and a team-leading 15-12 record. His best game came on May 4, 2013 when he pitched a complete game shutout of the Chicago White Sox. His victory in the game broke a consecutive winning record set by Paul Splittorff in 1978-1979 with 17 wins. His ERA during the streak was 2.44. In 2014, Guthrie because a part of one of the best starting rotations in the American League. He had a 13-11 record with a 4.13 ERA. In three starts between June 13 and June 23, Guthrie had three straight victories, striking out 23 and 2.25 ERA. On September 26, Guthrie pitched seven scoreless innings to get the win against the Chicago White Sox and secure the first playoff berth for the Royals in 29 years. With the nickname “J-Guts,” Guthrie started in three games in the post-season with a 1-1 record and 4.05 ERA. Guthrie was a part of the starting rotation during the 2015 season, but struggled most of the season. In his first eight starts for Kansas City, Guthrie had a 4.75 ERA and a 4-2 record. During that time on May 20, he pitched six scoreless innings against the Cincinnati Red to help establish a club-record 24 scoreless innings in a row. Unfortunately, Guthrie gave up 11 runs in one inning in the next start to set a major league record for the worst start in the history of baseball and also breaking Jimmy Gobble’s 10-run inning record. He was sent to the bullpen by mid-August, but his pitching did not improve. Guthrie was left off of the postseason roster in 2015 and he was released after the season. Guthrie signed with the Texas Rangers. He pitched 653 2/3 innings for Kansas City and had a 41-34 record.

RANK #77 – JEFF SUPPAN (#37) – Starting Pitcher (1998-2002)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,258.12
450th Royals Player in Franchise History

The Kansas City Royals purchased the contract of Jeff Suppan in early September of 1998 from the Arizona Diamondbacks. He made four appearances that September, pitching 12 2/3 innings and only giving up one earned run. In 1999, he was named the #2 starter for the Royals behind Kevin Appier. He went 10-12 in his first season with an ERA of 4.53. His best game came on August 3, 1999 when he pitched a complete game shutout win over the Anaheim Angels by the score of 7-0. In 2000, Suppan was the opening day pitcher for the Royals. He had a 10-9 record with 4.94 ERA. Despite the lofty ERA, he did manage to pitch three complete games and one shutout in the season. Unfortunately, he gave up more home runs than any other pitcher in the American League with 36. He was the Royals top starter in 2001 and 2002. His ERA continued to climb with a 4.83 ERA over his last two seasons with the Royals and a 19-30 record over the same time period. After the 2002 season, Suppan signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates and his Royals career ended. Suppan had a career 4.73 ERA for the Royals in 133 starts with a 39-51 record. He pitched 864 2/3 innings with Kansas City.

RANK #76 – RICH GALE (#38) – Starting Pitcher (1978-1981)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,337.36
127th Royals Player in Franchise History

Rich Gale was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1975. He made his major league debut with Kansas City on April 30, 1978 starting against the Milwaukee Brewers, earning his first major league win. Rich Gale was the best rookie pitcher of 1978, going 14-8 in 30 starts with an ERA of 3.09. His best game came on June 13, 1978 when he pitched a one-hit shutout of the Texas Rangers. Gale finished fourth in the Rookie-of-the-Year voting. The next season was a down time for Gale, pitching only a 9-10 record with an ERA of 5.65. He bounced back in 1980 with a 13-9 record, despite still having a lofty ERA of 5.00. He started both Game 3 and Game 6 of the 1980 World Series. During the strike season of 1981, Gale improved his ERA to 3.47. During the strike, Gale took a job as a bartender at the Hyatt Regency. On July 17, 1981, the skywalk at the Hyatt collapsed and killed 114 people. Gale narrowly escaped, but lost a friend in the accident. Gale was traded, along with Bill Laskey, to the San Francisco Giants for Jerry Martin at the end of the Season. Gale finished his Royals career with a 4.38 ERA and 335 strikeouts in 104 starts.

RANK #75 – MICHAEL TUCKER (#24) – Right Field (1995-1996, 2002-2003)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,349.52
364th Royals Player in Franchise History

Michael Tucker was a first-round draft choice of the Kansas City Royals in 1992. Prior to the 1992 draft, Tucker played on the 1992 Olympic Baseball team that finished fourth in Barcelona. He made his major league debut on opening day, April 26, 1995 in left field. His batting average dropped to .207 by the end of May and he was demoted to AAA Omaha. He came back in August with a hot bat and brought his season average up to .260. In 1996, Tucker moved to right field, sharing the position with Johnny Damon. Tucker hit .260 in his first two years with the Royals, driving in 16 home runs and 70 RBIs. Just prior to opening day of 1997, Tucker was traded, along with Keith Lockhart, to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Jermaine Dye and Jamie Walker. He played in the National League for five years with three different teams. Then, in 2001, Tucker was traded back the the Kansas City Royals by the Chicago Cubs in exchange for a minor league player. In his second stint with the Royals, Tucker primarily played right field. His average dropped to .248 with 12 home runs, however he was sixth in the American League in triples. His last season with the Royals was an improvement. He hit a Royals-career high 13 home runs with a .262 batting average. His best game came on May 30, 2003 against the Oakland Athletics when he went 3-4 with a walk, home run and five RBIs. He became a free agent at the end of the season and Tucker was picked up by the San Francisco Giants. Tucker finished his two stints with the Royals with a .257 batting average and with 41 home runs. He played 1,484 innings in right field for Kansas City.

RANK #74 – JOSE ROSADO (#50) – Starting Pitcher (1996-2000)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,350.24
402nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Jose Rosado was drafted by the Royals in 1994. He made his major league debut on June 12, 1996. He was brought up to replace the injured Kevin Appier. On August 19, Rosado pitched his first-ever complete game, but lost the game 2-1 over the Toronto Blue Jays. He finished his first year with an impressive 3.21 ERA. In 1997, Rosado became the ace of the starting rotation. He pitched a 3.39 ERA before the all-star break and was the sole representative on the All-Star team for the Royals. On July 8, 1997, Rosado became the only pitcher besides Bret Saberhagen to record a win pitching in the All-Star game. The second half of the 1997 season went horribly for Rosado as he pitched a 6.67 ERA for the remainder of the season. Because of this, the new manager or the Royals, Tony Muser, demoted Rosado to the bullpen in 1998 for the first month of the season. He was reinstated into the starting rotation in May and his ERA improved to 4.69 for the season. The 1999 season was the best of Rosado’s career. He had a 1.93 ERA in his first eight starts, but because of the lack of run support, his record was only 2-2. He earned another chance to pitch in the All-Star game and ended the season with a 10-14 record with an ERA of 3.85. Rosado pitched five games in 1998 with a pitch count of 125 or more. There was much criticism targeted at the Royals manager for working the young Rosado so much in the 1999 season. By 2000, Rosado’s arm was shot and he only pitched in five more games. He never recovered and he was released at the end of the season. He never played in the major leagues again. Rosado’s record with the Royals was 37-45 with an ERA of 4.27. He made 112 starts for the Royals in 125 appearances and one of only five Royals pitchers to make more than one appearance at the All-Star game.

RANK #73 – BRUCE CHEN (#52) – Starting Pitcher (2009-2014)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,381.33
694th Royals Player in Franchise History

Bruce Chen signed with the Kansas City Royals as a free agent in 2009 after playing for the Texas Rangers. Chen had not pitched in the major leagues since 2007. He was signed to a minor league contract with the Royals, the 10th team in his career. Chen was called up from AAA Omaha in late June of 2009. He struggled in his first season, splitting time between a starting pitcher and relief pitcher. He had a 5.78 ERA and 1-6 record. However, Chen played the entire 2010 season with the Royals, starting in the bullpen before being moved to a starting role. He pitched a 2.89 ERA as a relief pitcher. Despite his ERA rising as a starter, he finished the season with a 12-7 record. On October 1, 2010, Chen threw his first complete game shutout against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In 2011, Chen suffered several injuries, but still posted a 3.77 ERA and 12-8 record on the season. In 2012, Chen led the American League in starts with 34. However, he suffered setbacks with a high 5.07 season ERA and only a 11-14 record. Chen was moved to the bullpen again in 2013 and pitched brilliantly. As part of the best bullpen in the American League, Chen’s ERA was only 2.08 by July 4. However, due to the poor performance of Luis Mendoza, Chen was moved back to a starting roll. He went 6-4 as a starter and finished the season with a 3.27 ERA and a 9-4 record overall. In the off season, Chen re-signed with Royals as a free agent for the 2014 season. He began the season as a starter, but had a very poor showing in his first four starts. He was then placed on the disabled list until the end of June where he was placed in the bullpen as a long-relief pitcher. He never fully recovered and his ERA shot up to 7.45. He was released by the Royals at the end of June. Bruce Chen finished his Royals career 47-43 with an 4.53 ERA in 718 2/3 innings pitched. After the 2014 season, Chen signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians.

RANK #72 – BRENT MAYNE (#24) – Catcher (1990-1995, 2001-2003)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,386.31
298th Royals Player in Franchise History

Brent Mayne was drafted by the Royals in 1989 and had his major league debut on September 18, 1990. He only played five games in 1990. In 1991, Mayne split catching duties with Mike Macfarlane. He hit .251 for the season. On August 26, 1991, Mayne caught Bret Saberhagen’s no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox. In 1992, he became the backup catcher for Mike Macfarlane and would continue that role through 1994. On May 5, 1994, Mayne hit his first and only career grand slam against the Toronto Blue Jays. In 1995, Macfarlane left the Royals and Mayne became the primary catcher for Kansas City. He hit a modest .251 with only 27 RBIs. At the end of the season, Mike Macfarlane was re-acquired by the Royals. Three days later, Mayne was traded to the New York Mets for a minor league player. Mayne played for New York, Oakland, San Francisco and Colorado before being traded back to the Royals for Sal Fasano and Mac Suzuki in 2001. The Royals were in desperate need for a productive catcher and they took a chance on Mayne. Over the next two years, Mayne would hit .241 with 10 home runs for the Royals as their primary catcher. Mayne was released after the 2003 season and he signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Mayne is second only to Mike Macfarlane in innings played as catcher with 4,965 1/3. He had a .244 career batting average with the Royals in 664 appearances.

RANK #71 – STEVE MINGORI (#22) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1973-1979)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,389.85
80th Royals Player in Franchise History

Steve “Mingo” Mingori was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Mike Jackson in June of 1973. Mingori was a Kansas City native who attended Rockhurst High School. He became a full-time long relief pitcher who carried a 2.81 ERA in his first full season with the Royals. In June and August of 1974, Mingori pitched 23 2/3 scoreless innings of relief. Mingori pitched in all three American League Championships of the 1970s against the New York Yankees. Despite having a 16-25 record with the Royals in his career, Mingori had a 3.05 career ERA with 217 strikeouts in 439 innings pitched. He had 27 career saves and 22 career holds for the Kansas City Royals. He finished his major league career with the Royals. Mingori, along with Mark Littell and Hipolito Pichardo, are the only Royals pitchers to have at bats in the designated hitter age of baseball prior to interleague play in 1997.

RANK #70 – CARLOS FEBLES (#3) – Second Base (1998-2003)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,409.00
452nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Carlos Febles was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 1993. In 1998, he skipped AAA Omaha and made his major league debut with the Royals on September 14, 1998. He only appeared in 11 games in his first major league season. In 1999, Febles became the full-time second baseman for the Royals, starting at the position on opening day. He hit .256 with 10 home runs. Febles was second in the American League in triples with nine on the season. He stole 20 bases and was ranked on the of the top three fielding second basemen in the league. Febles, along with his teammate Carlos Beltran were known together as “Dos Carlos.” His next season was equally as successful for Febles, but his time on the field was cut short throughout the season due to injury. Injury continued to plague Febles in the 2001 season and his batting average fell to .236. His woes continued in 2002 with only a .245 batting average. With the continued drop in production in 2003, the Royals decided to release Febles. He did sign with the Boston Red Sox, but never played again in the major leagues. Febles is third all-time in innings played, behind Frank White and Cookie Rojas, at second base for the Royals with 4,036 1/3.

RANK #69 – EMIL BROWN (#35) – Utility Outfield (2005-2007)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,418.86
601st Royals Player in Franchise History

Emil Brown signed as a free agent in 2004 after playing for the Houston Astros. Brown only had limited playing time in the majors and had not played for a major league team since 2001. However, his first season with the Royals became the best of his career. He became the everyday right fielder, hitting .286 with 17 home runs and 86 RBIs. His best game came on June 27, 2006 in a 9-8 victory against the Cincinnati Red when he went 3-4 with a home run, two doubles and four RBIs. In 2007, Brown was moved to left field to make room for Mark Teahen in right field. His offensive output slipped slightly, hitting only .266 with six home runs. Brown did not re-sign with the Royals and, instead, signed with the Oakland Athletics in early 2008. Emil Brown is ranked 10th all-time in innings played in right field with 1,662 and ranked 14th all-time in left field with 1,408 innings played. Brown had a career batting average of .279.

RANK #68 – DANNY JACKSON (#25) – Starting Pitcher (1983-1987)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,460.69
200th Royals Player in Franchise History

Danny Jackson was a first-round draft pick by the Kansas City Royals in 1982. He made his major league debut on September 11, 1983. In 1984, Jackson started the season in the starting rotation, but was sent down to AAA Omaha in the beginning of June. He returned until September and finished the season with a 3.42 ERA and a 2-6 record. He did not play in the 1984 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. In 1985, he was a full-time pitcher in the starting rotation for the Royals. He went 14-12 with a 3.42 ERA. He had four complete games and three shutout. His best game was on October 15, 1985. The Royals were down three games to one to the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1985 ALCS. He pitched a complete game shutout with six strikeouts to keep the Royals alive. The Royals went on to win the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Jackson was the winning pitcher in Game 5, pitching a complete game for the 6-1 victory over St. Louis. In the seventh inning, Jackson made major league history by becoming the only pitcher in major league history ever to strikeout three batters in an inning with nine pitches during the World Series. In 1986, Jackson improved his ERA to 3.20, but only had a 11-12 record with the Royals. By 1987, Jackson would pitch 15 complete games, but have only a 9-18 record with a 4.02 ERA. Jackson was traded in the offseason to the Cincinnati Reds, along with Angel Salazar, for pitcher Ted Power and shortstop Kurt Stillwell. In his first season with Cincinnati, Jackson would earn a trip to the All-Star Game. Jackson’s career record with the Royals was 37-49 with a 3.69 ERA. He started 107 games with 20 complete games and six shutouts.

RANK #67 – KURT STILLWELL (#1) – Shortstop (1988-1991)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,485.93
253rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Kurt Stillwell was traded by the Cincinnati Reds, along with Ted Power, to the Kansas City Royals for pitcher Danny Jackson and shortstop Angel Salazar. Stillwell proved to be a consistent shortstop for the Royals. He hit .251 in his first season with 10 home runs and 53 RBIs. He was picked as a reserve shortstop in the 1988 All-Star Game. Stillwell continued to play well in 1989, hitting .261 with seven home runs. His 1990 season was a low point for Stillwell with his offensive production dropping. He made a comeback in 1991, hitting .265 with six home runs and 51 RBIs. On May 25, 1991, Stillwell hit his first grand slam against the Minnesota Twins. He also had five RBIs and went 4-5 at the plate. Stillwell was released after the 1991 season and he signed with the San Diego Padres. Stillwell is fifth all-time in innings played at shortstop with 4,197 1/3. He is a career .256 hitter with the Royals, driving in 26 home runs and 209 RBIs while in Kansas City.

RANK #66 – RAUL IBANEZ (#18) – Left Field (2001-2003, 2014)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,527.52
499th Royals Player in Franchise History

Raul Ibanez was signed as a free agent by the Kansas City Royals in 2000 after playing for the Seattle Mariners. In his first season, Ibanez switched back and forth from the outfield to designated hitter, with a short time trying first base. As the backup outfielder for the Royals, Ibanez hit .280 with 13 home runs and 54 RBIs. In 2002, he continued moving around the same three positions, but became a nearly-everyday player for the Royals. He hit .294 batting average with 24 home runs and 103 RBIs for the Royals. His best game came on July 14, 2002 when he hit a grand slam home run against the Anaheim Angels in the first inning. His 2003 season was just as strong with a .294 batting average and 18 home runs. Ibanez led the team in hits with 179 on the season and played most of the year in left field. He became a fan-favorite as they chanted, “RAUUUUUUUUUULLLL!” Just as Ibanez’s career was taking off, the Royals decided not to re-sign him and he signed with his old team, the Seattle Mariners. He would play in Seattle for another five seasons before playing for Philadelphia, the New York Yankees, back to Seattle, then to the Los Angeles Angels. He was considered on of the best outfielders in the game and even had an All-Star selection while in Philadelphia. After starting to the 2014 season in Los Angeles, Ibanez was released and picked up by the Kansas City Royals. Now 42 years old, Ibanez became a mentor to the young Royals’ players. He became the oldest player in franchise history to hit a triple and a home run. He played a few games at first base, designated hitter and outfield. Unfortunately, his offensive production did not come back as he only hit .188 for the Royals. Ibanez hit .286 in his Royals career with 57 home runs and 252 RBIs. He played 1,497 innings in left field with Kansas City.

RANK #65 – JOHN BUCK (#14) – Catcher (2004-2009)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,551.23
584th Royals Player in Franchise History

In June of 2004, John Buck arrived in Kansas City through a complex three-team deal. Mike Wood was sent to the Kansas City Royals, along with Mark Teahen, from the Oakland Athletics. Kansas City sent Carlos Beltran to the Houston Astros, Houston sent Octavio Dotel to Oakland, and Houston sent John Buck to Kansas City with cash. He made his major league debut on June 25, 2004 when he replaced injured starting catcher Benito Santiago. He only hit .235 on the season, but drove in 12 home runs. On August 13, 2004, Buck hit his first grand slam against the Oakland Athletics. Starting in 2005, Buck became the opening day catcher for the Royals for the next four season. He was very consistent at the plate over the next two seasons, hitting .244 with 23 home runs. Buck was involved in an embarrassing incident in 2006 when he got into a fight with fellow teammate Runelvys Hernandez in the dugout during a game with the Cleveland Indians. His 2007 and 2008 season were not as productive when he only hit .223 during the two-year period. By 2009, Buck became a backup catcher to newly acquired Miguel Olivo. At the end of the 2009 season, Buck signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. Buck is third all-time, behind Mike Macfarlane and Brent Mayne, in innings caught for the Royals with 4,723 1/3. He hit .235 with 70 home runs as a member of the Kansas City Royals.

RANK #64 – JOSE OFFERMAN (#30) – Second Base (1996-1998)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,598.91
392nd Royals Player in Franchise History

In 1995, Jose Offerman was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitcher Billy Brewer. In Offerman’s first season, he primarily played first base while having some time at second base and shortstop. He became a major offensive presence for the Royals, hitting .303 with 24 stolen bases. In 1997, Offerman became the full-time second baseman for the Royals, again hitting well with a .297 batting average. His best game came in interleague play against the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 15, 1997 when he hit 4-4 with two doubles and three RBIs. The 1998 season was by far his best, leading the American League with 13 triples. He hit .315, stole 45 bases, and drove in 96 runs. Between July 11 and August 7, Offerman had a 27-game hitting streak, the second best in Royals history. At the end of the season, Offerman signed with the Boston Red Sox. Offerman is sixth all-time for innings played at second base with 2,449 1/3. He was a career .306 hitter for the Royals, the best in the history of the franchise for a player with over 1000 plate appearances.

RANK #63 – LUKE HOCHEVAR (#44) – Starting Pitcher (2007-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,627.70
664th Royals Player in Franchise History

Luke Hochevar was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2006. He made his major league debut on September 8, 2007. He was part of the starting rotation in 2008, but struggled with a 6-12 record and a 5.51 ERA. His struggles continued in 2009 with his ERA shooting up to 6.55. Hochevar missed much of the 2010 season due to a right elbow strain. But in 2011, Hochevar was made the ace of the starting rotation, starting on opening day. He had 31 starts with 4.63 ERA. However, his 2012 season was miserable. His ERA shot up to 5.73 and he led the American League in earned runs. The one bright spot was Hochevar had the best game of his career when he pitched a 8-0 complete game shutout of the Tampa Bay Rays on June 25, 2012. With the start of the 2013 season, Hochevar was moved to the bullpen and his career became revitalized. As a part of the best bullpen in baseball, Hochevar had a 5-2 record in 58 appearances and had a 1.92 ERA. Unfortunately, during Spring Training of 2014, Hochevar developed an elbow injury that required Tommy John surgery and he missed the entire season. He did not return until early May of 2015. The beginning of his season was shaky, but in the last three months of the season, he kept batters to a .229 batting average and had a 3.19 ERA. He was a part of the 25-man roster for the playoffs and helped the Royals to their fourth World Series. He pitched 10 2/3 scoreless innings in the post season and earned two wins. As of 2015, Hochevar has a 5.02 career ERA with a 44-62 record. He also has 15 career holds with Kansas City. He is still pitching for Kansas City.

RANK #62 – JIM EISENREICH (#22) – Utility Outfield (1987-1992)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,652.67
246th Royals Player in Franchise History

Jim Eisenreich was picked up off waivers from the Minnesota Twins in October of 1986. While with the Twins, Eisenreich exhibited bizarre health symptoms that interfered with his playing so much that he voluntarily retired from baseball in 1984. His retirement made room for a young center fielder named Kirby Puckett to rise to the major leagues. The Royals hired Eisenreich on the recommendation of a friend in the Royals organization. He also had the attention of new Royals coach Billy Gardner, Eisenreich’s former manager with the Twins. It was finally determined that Eisenreich had Tourette’s Syndrome, yet the Royals took a chance with him. Eisenreich was brought up from AA Memphis in June of 1987. He had a fair season, but only hit .238. His second season did not go very well, hitting only .218. He was demoted in the middle of the season to AAA Omaha. The 1989 season was his breakthrough year. He became the utility outfielder for the Royals, but found work almost everyday. He hit .293 on the season with nine home runs and 27 stolen bases. On August 19, 1989, he hit his first career grand slam off a pitch from Seattle’s Randy Johnson. He beat out Bo Jackson to earn the Royals Player of the Year honors in 1989. He was the opening day center fielder for the Royals in 1990 and his batting average moved up to .280. In 1991, new Royals Hal McRae dropped Eisenreich to a utility role in the outfield in favor of his son Brian McRae in the outfield. Despite this, Eisenreich out-hit McRae with a .301 average. By 1992, Eisenreich was back as an everyday outfielder in right field. His batting average dropped to .269. He chose not to re-sign with the Royals and signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1993. Eisenreich went on to play in four World Series’ for two different teams. He hit a career .277 for the Kansas City Royals and ninth all-time in innings played in right field with 1,667. He also logged 1,427 innings in left field.

RANK #61 – KELVIN HERRERA (#40) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2011-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,656.22
743rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Kelvin Herrera signed as a non-drafted free agent to the Kansas City Royals in 2006. He made his major league debut on September 21, 2011 and only pitched twice that year. In 2012, Herrera was made a part of the bullpen. Herrera’s fastball averages 97 mph and tops off at 103 mph. He pitched a 2.35 ERA in his first season with the Royals with a 4-3 record as a relief pitcher. He was second in the American League in appearances with 76 games. Despite being on the best bullpen in the American League in 2013, Herrera’s production dropped the next season. He had a 3.86 ERA with only 58 1/3 innings pitched. He made a dramatic turnaround in 2014. Herrera became one of the best relief pitchers in baseball. Herrera combined with Wade Davis and Greg Holland to be the most feared bullpen in the major leagues. He recorded a 4-3 record with a 1.43 ERA. Between mid-June and mid-September, Herrera did not give up an earned run. He was one of the fastest pitchers in all of baseball. He helped the Royals make it to the playoffs for the first time in 29 years. Herrera was a bit shaky in the playoffs, even being pulled out of a game with an injury during the Division Series with the Angels. Despite some close calls during his time on the mound, Herrera still pitched a 1.80 ERA in 15 innings pitched. He even had his first-ever major league at bat during the World Series. In 2015, Herrera continued to be one of the best relief pitchers in baseball, holding his opponents to a .206 batting average. He was selected to his first-ever All-Star Game as a relief pitcher. On May 5, 2015, Herrera gave up a home run against the Cleveland Indians, ending his 105 1/3 inning streak of pitching without giving up a home run and breaking the club record. He held this record until Wade Davis broke the record later in the season. Herrera helped the Royals make their second playoff berth in a row in 2015. He pitched in eight playoff games with a 1.04 ERA and helped the Royals to the World Series. During the World Series against the New York Mets, he pitched five scoreless innings, including three scoreless innings of relief in game five to help the Royals win the championship. He has a career 2.60 ERA with Kansas City in 279 appearances as of 2015. Herrera broke Jason Grimsley’s all-time hold record by the end of the 2015 the season with 81. Herrera is still pitching for the Royals.

RANK #60 – ED KIRKPATRICK (#8) – Catcher (1969-1973)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,667.29
1st Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Jerry Adair, Wally Bunker, Joe Foy, Chuck Harrison, Jackie Hernandez, Bob Oliver, Lou Piniella, and Ellie Rodriguez)

In 1968, Ed Kirkpatrick, sometimes known as “Spanky,” was traded to the Royals, along with Dennis Paepke, by the California Angels for Hoyt Wilhelm. Wilhelm, a future Hall of Fame player, was selected by the Royals in the 1968 Expansion Draft. The trade was the first in franchise history. Kirkpatrick became the first-ever left fielder when he was in the opening day lineup of 1969. That year, Kirkpatrick was primarily a utility player who played in seven different positions. He hit the second-ever grand slam for the Royals on August 13, 1969 at Boston. However, by 1970, he found his niche as a catcher. He hit a career high 18 home runs in 1970 with 62 RBIs. In 1972, Kirkpatrick became the last Royals player to have a hit in Municipal Stadium off of Texas Pitcher Steve Lawson. That same year, he was a part of the first-ever triple play in Royals history, with the play going 2-5-4-5. In 1973, Kirkpatrick became the first Royals player to play at the newly created designated hitter position. His first at bat as the DH resulted in a walk. In this, his final season with the Royals, Kirkpatrick was moved to the outfield. After the 1973 season, Kirkpatrick was traded, along with Kurt Bevacqua and a minor league player, to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Nelson Briles and Fernando Gonzalez. He is ninth all-time in innings played as a catcher with 2,218.

RANK #59 – PAUL SCHAAL (#10) – Third Base (1969-1974)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,700.76
27th Royals Player in Franchise History

Paul Schaal was acquired by the Kansas City Royals in the 1968 Expansion Draft from the California Angels. Schaal began the season in the minor leagues still recovering from a fractured skull from a beaning the previous season. He played backup to Joy Foy at third base. He was the opening day third baseman from 1971-1973. In 1971, he played in 161 games, the second most in the American League. Schaal also drew 103 walks which was the third best in the league. His 1972 season was disappointing, only hitting .228 for the season. However, on June 4, 1972, Schaal hit the last grand slam home run in Municipal Stadium history in the first game of a doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox. That same year, he was a part of the first-ever triple play in Royals history, with the play going 2-5-4-5. In 1974, due the success of an up-and-coming third baseman named George Brett, Schaal was traded to the California Angels for future all-star outfielder Richie Scheinblum. Schaal is fifth all-time in innings played at third base with 4,789.

RANK #58 – WADE DAVIS (#22) – Middle Relief Pitcher (2013-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,719.04
765th Royals Player in Franchise History

Wade Davis was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with James Shields and Elliot Johnson, from the Tampa Bay Rays for four minor league players. In Tampa Bay, he was nicknamed “The Silent Assassin.” Davis had been a relief pitcher the previous year with Tampa Bay, but the Royals decided to place him in the starting rotation. Davis struggled with consistency as a starter. He had a 5.62 ERA and a 6-10 record when he was moved to the bullpen in September. Once in the bullpen, his record was 2-1 with a 0.80 ERA. It was decided that Davis would begin the 2014 season in the bullpen and he made the most of it. He became one of best set-up pitchers in all of baseball. He finished the season with an astounding 1.00 ERA. He set the Royals team record with 32 consecutive scoreless innings of relief. He also had 109 strikeouts for the season, breaking the relief record of 103, set by Jim York in 1971 and Greg Holland in 2013. He had 33 holds and broke Jason Grimley’s 2003 record of 28 in a season. Davis, along with Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland, made up the best bullpen of the major leagues. He helped the Royals get into the playoffs for the first time in 29 years. Davis pitched 14 of the 15 playoff games of 2014 with a 0.63 ERA. Amazingly, Davis did even better in 2015. Davis split time as the closer with Greg Holland, who was out of the bullpen at various times due to injuries. During the season, he recorded 17 saves and 18 holds. He did not give up a run until June 12. He was selected to the 2015 All-Star Team as a relief pitcher. On August 1, he gave up his first home run to the Toronto Blue Jays, ending his streak of 126 ⅔ innings and setting the all-time record in the category for the Royals, having not given up a home run since August 24, 2013. He ended the season 8-1 with a 0.94 ERA, the best of any relief pitcher in baseball. His 17 wins over the course of two season was more than any other relief pitcher in the major leagues. When Greg Holland had season-ending Tommy John surgery in mid-September, Davis became the closer for the team as they made it into the playoffs. He pitched eight games and did not give up an earned run at all during the playoffs or World Series. He earned one win against Toronto and had four postseason saves. His performance in the postseason was one of the greatest for a relief pitcher in the history of baseball. His efforts helped the Royals win their second-ever World Series title. Davis has a career 3.11 ERA in 172 appearances with the Royals as of 2015. His 51 holds is fourth all-time in franchise history. Davis is currently still pitching for the Royals.

RANK #57 – STEVE BALBONI (#45) – First Base (1984-1988)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,734.62
201st Royals Player in Franchise History

Steve Balboni, along with Roger Erickson, were traded to the Kansas City Royals by the New York Yankees for Mike Armstrong and minor league player. Balboni was picked due to the recent loss of WIllie Aikens to drug problems as well as for his power. “Bye Bye” Balboni was known for two things offensively: home runs and striking out. In his first season with the Royals, he was third in the American League in strikeouts with 139, but led the team in home runs with 28. Between August 20 and August 22, Balboni became only the second major league player to strikeout nine during nine consecutive at bats. In 1985, he lead the American League with 166 strikeouts and set the Royals franchise record with 36 home runs. That season, Balboni hit two grand slams. The first came on April 30, 1985 against the Cleveland Indians and the second on September 20 against the Minnesota Twins. Between July 24 and July 31, 1985, Balboni homered six times in seven games. He started at first base in both the 1984 and 1985 ALCS with only a .111 batting average. However, Balboni rose to the occasion in the 1985 World Series where he went 8-25 with three RBIs and only four strikeouts as the Royals went on to win the World Series. In 1986, his batting average dropped to only .229, but kept his home runs coming with 29. A major change came in 1987, when Balboni was moved to designated hitter with the retirement of Hal McRae and the change from third base to first base for George Brett. However, his batting continued to drop as he was only hitting .207 for the season with 24 home runs. Balboni was released by the Royals in May of 1988 and picked up by the Seattle Mariners. Balboni was highly respected by players in the major league as one of the nicest players they had ever met. He was a career .230 hitter for the Royals with 119 career home runs. He is fifth all-time in innings played for the Royals at first base with 4,228.

RANK #56 – WILLIE AIKENS (#24) – First Base (1980-1983)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,738.24
146th Royals Player in Franchise History

In 1980, Willie Aikens was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Rance Mulliniks, from the California Angels in exchange for Al Cowens, Todd Cruz and Craig Eaton. He became the starting first baseman for the Kansas City Royals, replacing Pete LaCock. Aikens hit .278 in his first season with 20 home runs and 98 RBIs. When the Royals made the playoffs, Aikens was a standout, hitting .364 in the ALCS against the New York Yankees and .400 against the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series. Aikens became the first player to have two two-home run games in a World Series. In the strike-shortened season of 1981, Aikens hit 17 home runs in 101 appearances. He continued his success with the Royals in 1982 as a long-ball slugger. On September 30, 1982, Aikens hit his first-ever grand slam against the Oakland Athletics. Despite being nagged by injuries, Aikens improved his batting average to .302 with a career-high 23 home runs. Unfortunately, Aikens was being investigated by the FBI in late 1983 and was arrested at the conclusion of the season for attempting to purchase cocaine along with Jerry Martin and Willie Wilson. Aikens was traded at the end of the season to the Toronto Blue Jays for designated hitter Jorge Orta. In 2008, after being released from prison, Aikens apologized to the fans of Kansas City in the Kansas City Star newspaper. He is seventh all-time with 3,865 innings played at first base.

RANK #55 – ANGEL BERROA (#4) – Shortstop (2001-2007)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,750.48
515th Royals Player in Franchise History

In 2001, Angel Berroa arrived in Kansas City in a complex three-team trade. Berroa and catcher A.J. Hinch were sent to Kansas City from the Oakland Athletics. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays sent Roberto Hernandez to Kansas City and Cory Lidle to Oakland. Oakland sent Ben Grieve to Tampa Bay and Kansas City sent Johnny Damon and Mark Ellis to Oakland. Berroa made his major league debut with the Royals on September 18, 2001, the first major league game played after the attacks of 9/11. Berroa played most of 2001 at AA Wichita and most of 2002 at AAA Omaha. Much of his 2002 season with AAA Omaha and Kansas City was plagued with injuries. Berroa was also caught up in a major scandal in 2002 known as “age-gate,” where many Latin American players were caught lying about their age. Berroa turned out to be two years older than what he initially said he was when he signed with Oakland in 1997. After the departure of Neifi Perez in 2002, Angel made the opening day roster in 2003. He made an immediate impact on the Kansas City Royals as one of the top shortstops in the major leagues. He was in the top ten players in the American League in 2003 for triples, hit by pitch, sacrifice hits, and sacrifice flies. He was the rated the top fielding shortstop in the American league with the fewest errors in his position and second in the league with the most double plays turned. Berroa hit 17 home runs on the season, batted .287 average and stole 21 bases. He was voted the American League Rookie-of-the-Year for 2003. In 2004, his offensive production dropped slightly, but he remained the best fielding shortstop in the American League for a second-straight season. In 2005, Berroa’s numbers improved offensively with 11 home runs and a .270 batting average. However, he was tied with Emil Brown with the most strikeouts with 108 for the season. The 2006 season saw a major downturn for Berroa. He only hit .234 for the season and the defensive prowess he once had began to wain. After the 2006 season, the Royals traded for shortstop Tony Pena, Jr. and Berroa played most of the season with AAA Omaha. He was only called up for nine games. Berroa was traded in mid-2008 to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a minor league player. Berroa’s 5,315 1/3 innings at shortstop is fourth all-time for the Kansas City Royals behind Freddie Patek, Alcides Escobar and U L Washington. He hit a career .263 for the Royals with 40 home runs and 50 stolen bases.

RANK #54 – LORENZO CAIN (#6) – Center Field (2011-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,762.52
744th Royals Player in Franchise History

Lorenzo Cain was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Milwaukee Brewers, along with Jeremy Jeffress, Alcides Escobar and Jake Odorizzi for Zack Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt in 2010. Cain was brought up from AAA Omaha for six games in 2011. Cain split time as a backup outfielder with Mitch Maier and Jason Bourgeois in 2012. He hit .266 with 10 stolen bases and seven home runs. He became the opening day center fielder over Jarrod Dyson in 2013 and had a great season. He hit .251 with 14 stolen bases and four home runs. On July 4, 2013, Cain hit his first career grand slam against the Cleveland Indians. He was considered one of the best fielding center fielders in the American League. He was placed on the disabled list in August, but returned in September. In 2014, Cain had the best season of his career, hitting .301 with the best batting average on the team. Cain had 28 steals and helped Kansas City be the best base-stealing team in the major leagues. Cain platooned in center field with Jarrod Dyson and right field with Nori Aoki. With his speed, Cain was one of the best center fielders in the game and helped Kansas City have the best defensive team in all of baseball. Cain helped the Royals make it to the playoffs for the first time in 29 years. He was named the American League Championship Series MVP for his spectacular catches in the outfield as well as his .333 batting average. Despite playing the best baseball of his career, the Royals lost to the San Francisco Giants in the 2014 World Series. In 2015, Cain was one of the leading hitters for the Kansas City Royals. He was selected to start in right field during the 2015 All-Star Game. Cain was hitting .312 by the All-Star break and .296 after the break. Cain had a career high 101 runs, 16 home runs, 72 RBIs and 28 stolen bases. He helped the Royals to their second playoff-berth in a row. He hit .275 with one home run in the playoffs to help the Royals to their fourth World Series. Despite struggling offensively with a .227 batting average against the Mets, he logged four stolen bases and four RBIs to help the Royals win the second-ever World Series title. Cain is hitting .286 with the Royals and has 80 career stolen bases as of 2015. Also, as of 2015, his 3,078 innings played in center field places him seventh on the all-time list. He is currently still playing for Kansas City.

RANK #53 – HIPOLITO PICHARDO (#35) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1992-1998)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,762.54
329th Royals Player in Franchise History

Hipolito Pichardo was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 1987. He made his major league debut on April 21, 1992. He was a relief pitcher for the first month of 1992, before being moved into the starting rotation. He became a success at the new role, posting a 9-6 record in his first season with an ERA of 3.95. Guy Hansen, pitching coach for the Royals, nicknamed him “Double D,” meaning, “Debajo, Dinero.” Hansen stated that if he could keep the ball down, he could get paid. On July 21, 1992, Pichardo had his first career complete game shutout against the Boston Red Sox. The game was a one-hitter. In 1994, Chris Haney was moved into the starting rotation which bumped Pichardo into the bullpen. He struggled with a 4.92 ERA in 45 appearances. He improved slightly in 1995, but in 1996, he slipped to his highest ERA of his career of 5.43. On July 29, 1995, Pichardo became the first pitcher in the American League since the advent of the designated hitter to bat twice in one game in which the Royals and Pichardo won 5-4 in 16 innings. In 1997, he replaced Jeff Montgomery as the Royal’s closer while Montgomery was recuperating from an injury. He posted 11 saves and his ERA improved to 4.22. In 1998, he split the season between starter and relief pitcher. His ERA shot back up to 5.13 and he posted a 7-8 record. At the end of the season, the Royals chose not to renew his contract and he was signed by the Boston Red Sox. Pichardo had a 42-39 record with the Royals in 281 appearances. He had 32 holds, 19 saves and a 4.48 career ERA. Pichardo, along with Steve Mingori and Mark Littell, are the only Royals pitchers to have at bats in the designated hitter age of baseball prior to interleague play in 1997.

RANK #52 – STEVE FARR (#26) – Closing Pitcher (1985-1990)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,779.96
219th Royals Player in Franchise History

Steve Farr signed with the Kansas City Royals after being released by the Cleveland Indians in May of 1985. Farr spent most of his first season with AAA Omaha, but was brought up in early August as a relief pitcher and spot starter. He pitched well and finished the regular season with a 3.11 ERA and earned the chance to pitch in the 1985 ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays. Farr earned a crucial win in Game 3 of the series while pitching in long relief. In 1986, Farr pitched for the Royals full-time in relief and split time as the team’s closer along with Buddy Black and the aging Dan Quisenberry. He earned eight saves in 56 appearances, pitching a 3.13 ERA. Farr pitched middle relief in 1987 and led all Royals relief pitchers in strikeouts with 88 for the season. In 1988, Steve Farr became the primary closer for the Kansas City Royals after the departure of veteran Dan Quisenberry. He earned 20 saves in 62 appearances and a impressive 2.50 ERA. He was ranked one of the top closers in the American League. His performance slipped in 1989, but in 1990, Farr pitched in 51 relief appearances and six spot starts. One of his starts was a complete game shutout of the California Angels on September 23, 1990. He finished the season with a 1.98 ERA. Farr elected to leave the Royals in 1990 and signed a contract with the New York Yankees. Farr finished his career eighth all-time in saves with 49 and a career ERA of 3.05.

RANK #51 – SALVADOR PEREZ (#13) – Catcher (2011-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,803.96
742nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Salvador Perez was signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Kansas City Royals in 2006. He made his major league debut on August 10, 2011. At 6’3” and 230 lbs, Perez is one of the largest catchers in the major leagues. In his short time playing in 2011, Perez hit .331 with three home runs. During spring training of 2012, Perez tore his right meniscus and was on the disabled list until early July. When he returned, Perez hit 11 home runs and 39 RBIs, finishing the season with a .301 batting average. The 2013 season was to be his first full season with the Royals. Perez hit .292 with 13 home runs and 79 RBIs, making him one of the best offensive catchers in the major leagues. He was chosen to be in the 2013 All-Star Game. He led all catchers in the major leagues with 71 assists and won the 2013 Gold Glove Award. His success continued in 2014 as one of the best catchers in the major leagues. He was selected as the starting catcher for the American League at the All-Star Game in Minneapolis in 2014. Perez was hitting .283 by the all-star break, but his offensive number dropped in the second half of the season. He led the major leagues with 25 pickoffs as a catcher and caught more games than any other catcher in the league with 142 appearances, earning him his second Gold Glove Award. He was the leader of the best defensive team in baseball and was second on the team in home runs and RBIs. He helped the Royals make their first playoff appearance in 29 years. In the AL Wild Card game, Perez provided the walkoff RBI hit that beat the Oakland Athletics. Despite the heroics of the Wild Card game, Perez had a miserable offensive post-season, hitting on .207. In 2015, Perez lead the major leagues with 139 games caught. He moved into the top 25 all-time catchers in major league history in assists at the position. By mid-June, Perez was hitting .290. He was overwhelmingly elected to be the starting catcher in the All-Star Game. He ended the regular season hitting .260 with 21 home runs. He helped lead the Royals to the second playoff berth in a row. During the playoffs, Perez only hit .194, but had four home runs and six RBIs. In the World Series against the New York Mets, Perez led the team with .364 batting average. and became the first catcher in 23 years to win the World Series Most Valuable Player Award. After the season, he won ins third Gold Glove Award as catcher. As of 2015, Perez is a .279 hitter with the Royals and has the best fielding range factor of any catcher in Royals history. He is also fourth all-time with 4,548 2/3 innings caught.

RANK #50 – BO JACKSON (#16) – Left Field (1986-1990)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,809.41
230th Royals Player in Franchise History

Bo Jackson was selected in the draft on June 2, 1986. Exactly three months later, he made his major league debut against the Chicago White Sox. Jackson was an amazing athlete at Auburn University. He qualified for nationals in track & field, played baseball, and was the Heisman Trophy Winner in football. In 1987, Jackson was tapped to be the opening day left fielder for the Royals. He was also picked up by the Oakland Raiders in the NFL draft. Jackson only hit .235 on the season, but drove in 22 home runs. On April 17, 1987, Bo Jackson hit his first grand slam against the Detroit Tigers. In 1988, his numbers improved with 25 home runs, 27 stolen bases and a .246 batting average. On July 29, 1988, Jackson was facing Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jeff Ballard when he stepped out of the batter’s box to adjust his batting glove. When he realized that time had not been called and the pitch was made, Jackson jumped into the batter’s box without time to think and hit a homerun. In 1989, Jackson became a household name through his “Bo Knows” campaign with Nike. He was known for his exceptional strength and speed, breaking bats in frustration over his head or knee after a strikeout. On June 5, 1989, Bo Jackson caught a fly ball at the warning track in center field, turned, and threw the ball all the way to catcher Bob Boone to tag out Seattle’s Harold Reynolds. During the 1989, Bo Jackson was only hitting .268 by the end of June, but he was voted as a starter in the All-Star Game. In his first at bat in an All-Star game, Bo Jackson hit a 448’ home run off of Rick Reuschel of the San Francisco Giants. Wade Boggs of the Boston Red Sox hit a homerun in the next at bat after Jackson’s home run, become the only back-to-back home runs in All-Star Game history. In Jackson’s second at bat, he beat out a throw for a double play. He then stole second base, becoming one of only two players to hit a home run and steal a base in All-Star Game history, the other player being Willie Mays. On September 27, 1989, he hit his second grand slam against the California Angels. He ended his 1989 season with a .256 batting average with 26 stolen bases, 32 home runs and 105 RBIs. He struck out 172 times, the 10th most by an American League right-hander since 1893. In 1990, his batting average improved to .272 with 28 home runs. On July 11, 1990, he chased down a ball hit to center field, caught the ball near the warning track, then ran up the wall to avoid hitting it straight on, making the replay a national sensation. On August 26, 1990, Jackson tied a major league record with four consecutive home runs in four at bats against Seattle. After the 1990 season, Jackson returned to the Oakland Raiders. In January of 1991, during the NFL playoffs, he was tackled causing a serious hip injury that ended his football career. He required hip replacement surgery. The Royals were unwilling to pay his salary during his injury rehabilitation, and he was released in 1991. Bo Jackson hit .250 in his Royals career with 109 home runs and 81 stolen bases in 511 games. Jackson is fourth all-time for innings played in left field with 2,907 2/3. Bo Jackson is one of the most popular players in Royals history.

RANK #49 – WALLY JOYNER (#12) – First Base (1992-1995)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,847.09
321st Royals Player in Franchise History

Wally Joyner signed as a free agent 1991 after playing for the California Angels. Joyner turned down a guaranteed four-year $16 million deal with California to play for Kansas City with a one-year $4.2 million contract. Joyner immediately became the starting first baseman for the Kansas City Royals. In his first season, Joyner hit .269 with nine home runs and 66 RBIs. He was one of the top three fielding first basemen in the American League. His second season was much improved. Joyner hit 15 home runs and had the best batting average of any Royals starter at .292. On July 23, 1993, Joyner hit the first grand slam of his Royals career against the Detroit Tigers. After the 1993 season, Joyner was diagnosed with spondylosis, an abnormal vertebral fixation. Despite playing with back pain, Joyner’s average improved to .311 in the strike-shortened year of 1994. On May 14, 1994, he was part of only the fourth triple play in Royals history, going 5-4-3 on the play. He continued to shine in 1995, hitting .311 and hitting his second grand slam against the Toronto Blue Jays on August 18. Joyner only committed three errors at first base, making him the best fielding player at that position in the American League. At the end of the season, Joyner was traded, along with a minor league player, to the San Diego Padres for Bip Roberts and another minor leaguer. Joyner’s career batting average with the Royals was .293. He hit 44 home runs and 271 RBIs while in Kansas City. Joyner is fourth all-time in innings played at first base, behind John Mayberry, Eric Hosmer and Mike Sweeney, with 4,269.

RANK #48 – JOHN WATHAN (#12) – Catcher (1976-1985)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,868.88
108th Royals Player in Franchise History

John Wathan was a first round draft pick by the Kansas City Royals in 1971. He made his major league debut on May 26, 1976. He was nicknamed “The Duke” because of his near-perfect impersonation of John Wayne. Wathan split time with AAA Omaha and Kansas City in his first season, but in 1977, Wathan became a full-time big leaguer. Wathan split his 1977 season between backup catcher to Darrell Porter and pinch hitter. He hit .328 in 55 appearances in 1977 season. He made four appearances in the 1977 ALCS as a catcher. In 1978 and 1979, Wathan began playing more time as a first baseman. Wathan continued to hit very well in his limited role with a .300 batting average. Unfortunately, his 1979 season was the worst of his career. He hit .205 with only two home runs. He did, however, set the team record at first base with 57 errorless innings. Many attribute his batting decline to the murder of his mother in early June. The 1980 season was the best so far for John Wathan. He became an everyday utility player, playing most of the time as catcher, but playing the outfield and first base as well. Wathan hit .305 with six home runs and 17 stolen bases. He hit .286 in the 1980 World Series. With the departure of Darrell Porter, Wathan became the primary catcher with the Royals in 1981. In 1982, he set a major league record with the most stolen bases in a season by a catcher with 36. His offensive numbers began to diminish in 1983, but was still able to steal 28 bases, third highest by a catcher in a single season. He began sharing time with Don Slaught in the catching position. The roles switched in 1984 when Wathan became the backup catcher to Slaught. He started playing more time at first base. His 1985 season would be his last. He hit only .181 with two home runs in 97 appearances. He did have pinch hitting and pinch running opportunities in the 1985 World Series. In 1986, the Royals organization approached Wathan with the opportunity to be a bench coach and he accepted, retiring as a player. Later, he would become the team manager. Wathan had a .262 batting average with 105 stolen bases and 21 home runs. Wathan is fifth all-time in innings played as a catcher with 4,453 2/3.

RANK #47 – BRIAN MCRAE (#56) – Center Field (1990-1994)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,893.01
291st Royals Player in Franchise History

Brian McRae was the son of long-time Kansas City Royals designated hitter Hal McRae. He was a first-round draft pick by the Kansas City Royals. He made his major league debut with the Royals on August 7, 1990. He hit .286 in 46 appearances late in the 1990 season. In 1991, he was leadoff center fielder for the Royals on opening day. His father had become the manager for the Royals the same year. McRae hit .261 with 20 stolen bases. He became one of the best fielding center fielders in the league in his rookie year. On July 14, 1991, McRae hit his only grand slam against the Detroit Tigers. Unfortunately, McRae’s numbers dropped dramatically in 1992, hitting only .223 for the season. The 1993 season was a comeback for McRae as he hit a career-high 12 home runs, 23 stolen bases and .282 average. His renewed success carried over into 1994 despite the strike-shortened season. At the end of the season, the Royals decided to part ways with Hal McRae as manager as well as his son. He was traded to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Derek Wallace. Brian McRae is fourth all-time in innings played in center field with 5,292 1/3 innings. He is tied for second all-time for Royals players with inside-the-park home runs with five. He had a career .262 batting average with the Royals in his five seasons.

RANK #46 – MIKE MOUSTAKAS (#8) – Third Base (2011-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,894.88
738th Royals Player in Franchise History

Mike Moustakas was a first-round draft choice for the Kansas City Royals in 2007. He made his major league debut on June 10, 2011 after the departure of third baseman Wilson Betemit. When Moustakas would be up to bat, fans would begin making loud “Moose” calls to cheer him on. Moustakas hit .263 in his first season with five home runs and 30 RBIs. His batting average dropped in 2012, but his power became more apparent. He hit 20 home runs and 73 RBIs during the season. He led the American League in complete games at third base with 143 and set a club record with 41 double plays from third base, also best in the league. Between August 2 and September 26 of 2012, Moustakas set a new franchise record with 47 straight games without an error. He was considered the best fielding third baseman in the American League. On July 2, 2012, Moustakas hit his first career grand slam against the Toronto Blue Jays. Moustakas had a major setback in 2013 with his batting average dropping to .233 with only 12 home runs. His batting average was only .215 by the end of June. He continued to be very affecting fielding from third base with only 16 errors. In 2014 season was miserable on the offensive side. Despite platooning with Danny Valencia and, later, Christian Colon, his batting average was under .200 for most of the season. It would not be until mid-August when his batting average would consistently stay over .200. Despite his offensive woes, Moustakas was still third on the team with 15 home runs and was second in the American League for errors committed at third base with 10. His fielding helped the Royals to be the best defensive team in the major leagues and helped them to their first playoff berth in 29 years. Once in the playoffs, Moustakas’ offense turned on. He hit five home runs and had seven RBIs despite only hitting .231. He began the 2015 on fire, hitting .356 with nine RBIs in the month of April. Moustakas was still hitting over .300 when he was selected by the fans to his first-ever All-Star Game appearance. He began to struggle after the All-Star break and left the team twice to be with his mother, who passed away August 9. On September 12, 2015 at Baltimore, Moustakas set the club record with nine RBIs in a single game. He had a career high 22 home runs during the regular season and helped the Royals to their fourth World Series appearance. During the playoffs, Moustakas only hit .152, but then came alive in the World Series hitting .304 with three RBIs. He helped the Royals win their second-ever world title. As of 2015, Moustakas is a .247 hitter for the Royals with 74 career home runs. He is fourth all-time with 5,624 2/3 innings at third base with Kansas City.

RANK #45 – U L WASHINGTON (#30) – Shortstop (1977-1984)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,900.17
121st Royals Player in Franchise History

U L Washington (the “U” and “L” are not short for any name) signed with the Royals as a non-drafted free agent in 1972. He had never played organized baseball before. With help from his brother, who was an usher at Municipal Stadium, U L enrolled in the Royals Baseball Academy to learn how to play. He was known for his signature toothpick that he had in his mouth every game. Between 1977 and 1979, Washington played as a utility infielder, primarily playing shortstop or second base. In August of 1979, Freddie Patek was benched by the Royals and Washington gained the everyday job. On September 21, 1979, Washington went 4-5 with two home runs, one from each side of the plate, only the second player in Royals history to accomplish the feat. His breakout season was 1980, when he played 152 games as a shortstop, batting .273 and 20 stolen bases. He became the everyday shortstop for the Royals for the next four years. In the 1980 ALCS, Washington batted .364 and helped the Royals earn their first World Series berth. In the 1980 World Series, he batted .273 with two RBIs in six games played. He also played in the 1981 Division Series and the 1984 ALCS at shortstop. Washington is third only to Freddie Patek and Alcides Escobar in innings played at shortstop with 5,517 1/3. His career best game came on September 21, 1979 against the Oakland Athletics. Washington went 4-5 with two home runs, six RBIs and three runs scored. U L Washington was also a part of history on July 24, 1983 when he hit a single into center field. While on first base, George Brett hit his famous home run that sparked the “Pine Tar Incident.” Ultimately, Brett’s home run counted and Washington score a run that helped defeat the New York Yankees 5-4. In 1984, Washington was traded to the Montreal Expos for two minor league players. Washington is one of the best and most colorful shortstops in Royals history.

RANK #44 – MARTY PATTIN (#33) – Middle Relief Pitcher (1974-1980)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,914.18
92nd Royals Player in Franchise History

The Boston Red Sox traded Marty Pattin to the Kansas City Royals for Dick Drago in 1973. Known as “Bulldog,” Pattin split his time a middle relief pitcher and starting pitcher for the Royals over the next seven years. He posted a career 3.48 ERA and a record of 43-39 in 244 appearances. Pattin was named American League Pitcher-of-the-Month twice in 1975. He was normally a long-relief pitcher, but after the injury to Steve Busby in 1976, Pattin was inserted into the starting rotation. Pattin pitched in relief in the ALCS games against the New York Yankees between 1976 and 1978. He also pitched an inning of relief in Game Six of the 1980 World Series. His best game came on June 18, 1975 when he pitched a complete game shutout of the California Angels in a 13-0 victory. Pattin retired from baseball after being granted free agency in 1980.

RANK #43 – DARRELL PORTER (#15) – Catcher (1977-1980)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,944.10
117th Royals Player in Franchise History

Darrell Porter is the greatest hitting catcher in Royals history. He was traded to the Royals by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1976, along with Jim Colborn, for Jim Wohlford, Jamie Quirk and Bob McClure. Porter was an intense player with the ability to hit home runs on offence as well as score putouts on defense. He batted .275 with 16 home runs in 1977. He also batted .333 in the ALCS against the Yankees that year. Porter went on to be selected to the All-Star game from 1978-1980. He was elected the starting catcher in the 1979 All-Star Game. Regrettably, Porter’s offensive output declined in 1980 due to drug addiction. He was one of the first major league players to publicly admit to drug addiction and checked himself into rehab in early 1980. He did not return to play until May 4. In 1980, Porter only hit .249 with seven home runs. He did, however, start every game of the 1980 World Series for the Royals. Porter was eventually released by the Royals after the World Series. He was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals, but St. Louis had to compensate Kansas City with a second-round draft pick. In that pick, the Royals acquired Mark Gubicza. Porter finished his career with the Royals with a .271 batting average and is second in Royals history in pickoffs as a catcher with 10 in a career. He is also sixth all-time with 4,219 2/3 innings as catcher.

RANK #42 – JERMAINE DYE (#24) – Right Field (1997-2001)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,982.46
407th Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Jay Bell and Jeff King)

Jermaine Dye was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Jamie Walker, from the Atlanta Braves for Keith Lockhart and Michael Tucker in 1997. Dye was the opening day right fielder in 1997 with the Royals. He was the everyday right fielder until mid-May when he sustained an injury. He was placed on the disabled list a second time in early July and did not return until mid-August. After his return, Dye hit his first-ever grand slam against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 30, 1997. His 1997 and 1998 seasons were disappointing, hitting only .235 with 12 home runs over that period. He was plagued with injuries during those years. His 1999 season was finally a healthy one for Dye and he began to shine. He hit .295, hit 27 home runs and drove in 119 runs. Dye led the American League in appearances in right field with 157 games. He became extremely popular with the fans who would chant “Dye-no-mite” during his at bats. On April 25, 2000, Dye hit his second grand slam against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He had an explosive start to the 2000 season, hitting .339 by the end of May. Dye set a major league record by becoming the first player to hit over 10 home runs and 10 doubles in the first month of a season. He was voted by the fans to be the starting right fielder in the 2000 All-Star Game in Atlanta. After the all-star break, Dye hit another grand slam against Tampa Bay on September 1, 2000. He continued his success into the 2001 season until, in late July, he was traded to the Colorado Rockies for shortstop Neifi Perez. Dye is second all-time in innings played in right field with 4,528 2/3, behind only Al Cowens. He was a career .284 hitter with 85 home runs and 329 RBIs.

RANK #41 – LOU PINIELLA (#9) – Left Field (1969-1973)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 1,996.60
1st Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Jerry Adair, Wally Bunker, Joe Foy, Chuck Harrison, Jackie Hernandez, Ed Kirkpatrick, Bob Oliver, and Ellie Rodriguez)

“Sweet Lou” Piniella was the first great outfielder in Royals history. Originally picked by the Seattle Pilots in the 1968 Expansion Draft, Piniella was eventually traded to the Royals for Steve Whitaker and John Gelnar just prior to opening day. Lou Piniella is credited with many firsts in Royals History. He is the first Royals player to take an at-bat, have a hit, hit a double, hit a triple, walk, score a run, earn an RBI, hit a home run, and hit a sacrifice fly ball. He was on the opening day roster for the Royals every year he played in Kansas City. In 1969, he won the American League Rookie-of-the-Year Award. In 1970, Piniella became the first player in Kansas City history to hit over .300 for the season. During his sophomore season, he never went two consecutive games without a hit. He began to gain a reputation in the major leagues as a player with a fiery temper which would later carry over into his managerial career. In 1971, Piniella missed nearly the entire month of May due to a broken thumb, but came back to have an 18-game hitting streak that July. In 1972, Piniella had the second-best batting average in the league, behind Rod Carew, hitting .312. That season, Piniella was selected to play for the American League in the All-Star Game. Unfortunately, his 1973 season was the worst of his career and he was ultimately traded, along with Ken Wright, to the New York Yankees for Lindy McDaniel in 1974. Piniella held the team record with 5,652 innings played as a left fielder until 2014, when Alex Gordon surpassed him. He played in 700 games as a Kansas City Royals player with a career batting average of .286. Despite his slow speed, he was considered one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball during his time with the Royals.

RANK #40 – COOKIE ROJAS (#1) – Second Base (1970-1977)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,107.23
46th Royals Player in Franchise History

Cookie Rojas was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the St. Louis Cardinals for Fred Rico in June of 1970. His real name is Octavio Rojas, but got the nickname “Cookie” from the Spanish word “Cuqui,” a popular Cuban nickname. Rojas was relegated to being a utility player in the late 1960s. His batting average dropped so low that he contemplated retiring from baseball altogether. When he was traded to the Royals, he was immediately made the starting second baseman. He hit in 11 of his first 13 games. On June 26, 1970, Rojas went 4-4 against the California Angels. He ended the 1970 season with a .260 batting average in 98 games. In 1971, Rojas hit .315 by the all-star break and was a mentor to a young Freddie Patek, who had the best fielding percentage of any shortstop in the American League. Royals fans started a write-in campaign, and Rojas was picked to be on the 1971 All-Star team, becoming the ninth player in history to play for both the American & National League teams. In 1972, Rojas was hitting .298 by the all-star break. On July 2, 1972, Rajas started both games of a doubleheader against the Texas Rangers and went 6-9 with three doubles and five RBIs. On July 12, 1972, Rojas hit a grand slam in the top of the 10th to help the Royals rally and win against the Baltimore Orioles 11-4. In the 1972 All-Star Game, Rojas pinch hit for Rod Carew and hit a two-run home run. Rojas continued his success both offensively and defensively. Between 1971 and 1975, Rojas was consistently ranked in the top five defensive second basemen in the game. In 1973, he had a career-high 18 stolen bases and had the best stolen base percentage in the American League. On May 28, 1974, Rojas hit his second grand slam, again during extra innings, against the Baltimore Orioles. By 1976, Rojas’ skills began to wane from age. He became a backup to rookie Frank White at second base as well as a pinch hitter. When the Royals clinched the American League Western Division title, Rojas and fellow teammate Freddie Patek both jumped into the stadium fountains in celebration. Rojas was 3-9 in four games in the 1976 ALCS against the New York Yankees. He continued his backup role in 1977 before deciding to retire from baseball. Rojas hit .268 in his career with the Royals. He is second all-time, next to Frank White, for innings played at second base with 6,371 1/3. In 1987, Rojas was in the second class of Royals players inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame. Since, he has also been inducted into the Philadelphia Phillies Hall of Fame as well as the Cuban Baseball Hall of Fame.

RANK #39 – MARK TEAHEN (#24) – Third Base (2005-2009)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,109.95
597th Royals Player in Franchise History

Mark Teahen was a major 3-team trade in June of 2004. Teahen, along with Mike Wood came to Kansas City from the Oakland Athletics. John Buck came from the Houston Astros. Kansas City sent Carlos Beltran to Houston and Houston sent Octavio Dotel to Oakland. His major league debut came on opening day of 2005 as a third baseman. In the opener, his first hit was a triple. In his first season, Teahen had a moderate .246 batting average with seven home runs. He had problems at third base defensively and was considered the worst third baseman in the American League. He did, however, hit a grand slam on September 22, 2005 against the Cleveland Indians. In 2006, Teahen began to improve. He hit .290 with 18 home runs and 10 stolen bases. Despite being on the disabled list twice during the season, Teahen was named Royals Player of the Year. In 2007, the Royals moved Alex Gordon up to the major leagues. In order to make room for Gordon at third base, Kansas City moved Teahen to right field. Teahen hit .285 during the season with 13 stolen bases. In 2008, Teahen continued to play in right field. However, in 2009, he was moved back to third base. Having to switch positions constantly, Teahen was awarded the Hutch Award in 2009. At the end of the 2009 season, Teahen was traded by the Kansas City Royals to the Chicago White Sox for Josh Fields and Chris Getz. Teahen ended his Royals career hitting .269 with 59 home runs. He is fifth all-time in innings played in right field with 2,158 1/3 and sixth all-time at third base with 3,027.

RANK #38 – DOUG BIRD (#29) – Closing Pitcher (1973-1978)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,132.54
77th Royals Player in Franchise History

Doug Bird was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1969. He made his major league debut on April 29, 1973. He was called up to pitch out of the bullpen because relief pitcher Gene Garber was moved into the starting rotation. Bird was placed in the “closing” role before that term had been coined. He proved to be very effective and did the job more often than anyone else on the staff. Bird had 20 saves in 1973 with an ERA of 2.99, leading the Royals to their first winning season. In 1974, his ERA dropped to 2.73, but his saves dropped to just 10 in the season because starters were completing more games. In 1975, Bird was the most used pitcher in the bullpen and posted a 9-6 record as a relief pitcher, although he did have four spot starts. In 1976, Bird was moved to the starting rotation. His best game as a Royals pitcher came on May 28, 1976 when he pitched a complete game shutout of the California Angels, making eight strikeouts and only giving up one walk. He between May 28 and July 1, Bird posted 46 2/3 consecutive innings without a walk, which became a team record. He finished the season 12-10 with a 3.37 ERA and 107 strikeouts to help the Royals to their first-ever playoff berth. Bird was moved back to the bullpen for the ALCS and picked up a win in Game 4. He was moved back to the bullpen in 1977 and only had five starts. He had an 11-4 record with a 3.88 ERA. By 1978, age began to take its toll and he only pitched a 5.29 ERA in 98 2/3 innings. Bird was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1979 for utility player Todd Cruz. Bird finished his Royals career with a 49-36 record and a 3.56 ERA. He is fifth all-time in career saves with 58 and he had 464 strikeouts in 292 appearances. Doug Bird was the Kansas City Royals first-ever true closing pitcher.

RANK #37 – BUDDY BLACK (#40) – Starting Pitcher (1982-1988)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,172.74
173rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Buddy Black was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Seattle Mariners for Manny Castillo. In his first season with the Royals, Black switched back and forth from starter to relief pitcher. In 1983, he was moved exclusively to the starting rotation, posting a winning record of 10-7 with a 3.79 ERA. He was the starting pitcher on July 24, 1983 when George Brett had his famous “Pine Tar Incident.” He was named the opening day pitcher in 1984 and he enjoyed his best season with the Royals. Black won 17 games in 1984 and struck out 140. His ERA of 3.12 was one of the best by a starter in the American League. He helped lead the Royals to the 1984 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers, but faltered in his only start, giving up four runs in five innings and taking the loss in Game 1. In 1985, his effectiveness as a start began to fail as he only went 10-15 with a 4.33 ERA. He did, however, strikeout 122, but gave up more runs than anyone else on the pitching staff. Black rose to the occasion in the 1985 World Series with a 1.69 ERA in three appearances, of which one was a start. In 1986, Black was moved to the bullpen, which helped his ERA drop to 3.20, but only had a record of 5-10 with nine saves. Black split time between the bullpen and starting role in 1987 with better success. In 1988, after 17 relief appearances, Black was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Pat Tabler. Black had a 56-57 record as a Royals pitcher and a 3.73 ERA. He later became a manager for the San Diego Padres.

RANK #36 – ALCIDES ESCOBAR (#2) – Shortstop (2011-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,230.26
723rd Royals Player in Franchise History (along with Melky Cabrera, Jeff Francoeur and Matt Treanor)

Alcides Escobar was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Jeremy Jeffress, Jake Odorizzi and Lorenzo Cain, by the Milwaukee Brewers for Zack Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt. In his first season with the Royals, Escobar led the American League in appearances as shortstop with 156 games. He hit .254 with 26 stolen bases in his first season. His average improved to .293 with 35 stolen bases and 52 RBIs. He had the fewest errors committed by a shortstop in the American League with 19. His best game came July 14, 2012 against the Chicago White Sox, hitting 2-4 with two home runs and three RBIs. However, in 2013, Escobar’s offense dropped to a .234 batting average and only four home runs. He did have a perfect stolen base percentage with 22 stolen bases. His 2014 season was one of the best of his career. He led the major leagues in appearances as a shortstop, playing all 162 games. He was second on the team in stolen bases with 31. He had an excellent season in the field as a part of the best defensive team in the major leagues. On May 11, 2014, he hit his first career grand slam against the Seattle Mariners. He was instrumental in helping the Royals to their first playoff berth in 29 years. His post-season was outstanding as Escobar hit .292 in the leadoff position and scored eight runs. In 2015, he was recognized as one of the best shortstops in baseball by being elected to start the All-Star Game. He was hitting .290 by the All-Star break. In the second half of the season, his bat cooled and only hit .220. However, he came alive in the postseason, hitting .299 with three triples and an inside-the-park home run in the first game of the World Series. He became only the second player to have a leadoff home run in the postseason. He set the major league record with 15 straight postseason games with a hit as well as a major league record of seven leadoff hits in a single postseason. He was selected the 2015 ALCS Most Valuable Player, hitting .478 with five RBIs. He also earned his first Gold Glove Award for shortstop in 2015. As of 2015, Escobar is hitting .264 for the Royals with 131 stolen bases. He has only been caught 25 times stealing since being with the Royals. He is currently second all-time for innings played as a shortstop with 6,895 2/3, only behind Freddie Patek. Escobar is still playing for the Royals.

RANK #35 – ZACK GREINKE (#23) – Starting Pitcher (2004-2010)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,290.74
578th Royals Player in Franchise History

Zack Greinke was a first-round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals in 2002. He made his major league debut on May 22, 2004. His arrival was much anticipated in Kansas City, although some believed that he was being brought up too early. His first season with the Royals was average, with an ERA of 3.97 and a 8-11 record. His second season was even worse. In 2005, Greinke had a 1-11 record before the all-star break. By the end of the season, Greinke led the American League in losses with 17. His ERA shot up to 5.80. One bright spot in the season was on June 10, 2005 against the Arizona Diamondbacks when his first-ever major league hit was a solo home run. Greinke was very awkward in the clubhouse, so to help him, the Royals had him live with legendary third baseman George Brett. It did not help and in 2006, Greinke spent most of the season on the disabled list battling anxiety and depression. He only pitched three games in relief in 2006. In 2007, the Royals returned Greinke to the starting rotation, but after seven starts, it was decided that he be moved to the bullpen after pitching a 5.80 ERA and going 1-4. Greinke’s pitching improved and his ERA dropped. He earned 11 holds on the season before moving back into the starting rotation in September. He was 2-2 with a 1.85 ERA. The 2008 season proved to be the best of Greinke’s career so far. He had the first winning season of his career with a 3.47 ERA and a 13-10 record. He was fifth in the league in strikeouts with 183. His 2009 season was even better. He was 16-8 with a 2.16 ERA. Greinke was second in the league with 242 strikeouts in 229 1/3 innings pitched. He had three complete game shutouts, including one on August 30 against the Seattle Mariners in which he allowed only one hit. On August 25, Greinke pitched five innings against the Cleveland Indians and struck out 15 batters. He was selected to pitch at the 2009 All-Star Game, pitching one scoreless inning. That year, Greinke won the American League Cy Young Award along with having the best ERA in the American League. His 2010 season saw a drop in his performance. He went 10-14 with an ERA of 4.17. At the end of the 2010 season, Greinke was traded, along with Yuniesky Betancourt, to the Milwaukee Brewers for Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi. Greinke was 60-67 in his career with the Royals with an ERA of 3.82. He is 10th all-time in innings pitched with 1,108. He is sixth all-time in strikeouts with 931.

RANK #34 – AL COWENS (#18) – Right Field (1974-1979)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,303.51
91st Royals Player in Franchise History

Al Cowens was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1969. He made his major league debut on April 6, 1974. Cowens was a very recognizable player for the Royals with his Afro, wide sideburns and large glasses. Cowens platooned with Vada Pinson in the outfield. His first season was lackluster, with a batting average of .242 and only one home run. He was nearly dealt to the Minnesota Twins for Tony Oliva in before the 1975, but the deal fell through. When he returned for the 1975 season, Cowens was better at the plate, hitting four home runs and hitting .277. With Pinson’s departure, Cowens had right field to himself in the 1976 season. He proved to be one of the best defensive right fielders in the game. His offense stayed consistent, but the number of his stolen bases increased to 23 on the season. But in 1977, Cowens had the season of his career. He played all 162 games of the season. He was the best right fielder in the game and won the American League Gold Glove award. Cowens hit 23 home runs, 112 RBIs, 14 triples and batted .312 on the season. He had 16 3-hit games in the season and two 5-hit games. Cowens came in second to California’s Rod Carew in the American League MVP Award. He had a home run and five RBIs in the 1977 ALCS. In 1978 and 1979, his numbers faded slightly, hitting .284 over the next two seasons. On August 6, 1978, Cowens hit his first grand slam against the Toronto Blue Jays. On May 8, 1979, Texas Rangers pitcher Ed Farmer threw a pitch and hit Al Cowens in the head, breaking his jaw. He also hit Frank White, breaking his wrist. This ignited a feud that lasted between Farmer and Cowens for two years. In early 1980, Cowens was traded, along with Todd Cruz and Craig Eaton, to the California Angels for Rance Mulliniks and Willie Aikens. Cowens holds the Royals record for the most innings played in right field with 5,471. He was a career .282 hitter with 80 stolen bases, 44 triples and 45 home runs.

RANK #33 – STEVE BUSBY (#40) – Starting Pitcher (1972-1980)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,340.25
71st Royals Player in Franchise History

Steve Busby was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1971. He made his major league on September 8, 1972. In his major league debut, Busby pitched a complete game victory against the Minnesota Twins, giving up only two runs. He pitched a 1.98 ERA in five appearances in 1972. He became the opening day starting pitcher in 1973. Busby had a very rough start with an ERA of 5.03 by July 4. He did have one very bright light of success in early 1973 by pitching the first-ever no-hitter in Royals history on April 27, 1973 against the Detroit Tigers. He was able to bring his ERA down to 4.23 on the season and a 16-15 record. In 1974, Busby made 38 starts with a 3.39 ERA. On June 19, 1974, Busby pitched his second no-hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers. According to a baseball mathematical formula developed by baseball statistician Bill James, Steve Busby was the least likely pitcher in baseball history to pitch a no-hitter. Busby became the second Royals pitcher to have over 20 wins in a season with a 22-14 record. In 1975, Busby further improved his pitching, going 18-12 with a 3.08 ERA. Busby was selected to pitch in the 1975 All-Star Game. Between 1974 and 1975, Busby pitched 38 complete games and six shutouts. In 1976, Busby started having control issues and his ERA rose to 4.40. Then, Busby was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff. He would miss the entire 1977 season. Busby was the first pitcher in baseball history to have rotator cuff surgery and is believed to be the first pitcher to be placed on a “pitch count” due to the injury. He pitched only four games in 1978 before being sent to AAA Omaha for rehabilitation. He returned in September to pitch only three games. In 1979, Busby was given limited pitching duties, splitting time between starting and the bullpen. His ERA was 3.63 and he had a 6-6 record. In 1980, Busby only made 11 appearances with a 6.17 ERA. He was released in August of 1980. Busby was signed to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1981, but never played in the major leagues again. Busby had a career 3.72 ERA with the Royals and a 70-54 record in 1,060 2/3 innings pitched. In 1986, Steve Busby and Amos Otis were the first two Royals players inducted into the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame.

RANK #32 – KEVIN SEITZER (#33) – Third Base (1986-1991)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,378.29
231st Royals Player in Franchise History

Kevin Seitzer was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1983. He made his major league debut on September 3, 1986. He hit two home runs in his first 28 games with the Royals in 1986. Seitzer was on the opening day roster as a first baseman in 1987. However, before the end of April, a major change came to the Royals fielding positions. The third baseman, George Brett, would move from his long-time position to first base, swapping with Seitzer. His season was one of the best rookie seasons in the history of the Royals. He let the American League in hits with 207. He hit 15 home runs with 83 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. His .323 batting average was sixth in the league. He hit eight triples which was fifth in the league. He was an outstanding fielding third baseman, ranked in the top three in the league. He was named to the American League team in the 1987 All-Star Game in Oakland. On August 30, 1987, Seitzer became the first Royals rookie to hit a grand slam, hitting it against the Chicago White Sox. Unfortunately, he lost the Rookie-of-the-Year honors to Oakland’s Mark McGwire. In 1988, Seitzer continued to hit well, batting .304. His last three years with Kansas City saw a steady decline in his offense. Seitzer batting average dropped to .281 by 1989, .275 by 1990 and .265 by 1991. One bright point was his 102 walks to 76 strikeouts in 1989, showing control at the plate. His last season with the Royals was marred by injury and a very slow start. Seitzer only hit .194 by mid-June. Seitzer was released by the Royals in the spring of 1992 and signed with the Milwaukee Brewers. Seitzer is third all-time in innings played at third base with 5,640 2/3. He had a career .294 batting average with the Royals along with 265 RBIs.

RANK #31 – TOM GORDON (#36) – Starting Pitcher (1988-1995)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,378.98
265th Royals Player in Franchise History

Tom “Flash” Gordon was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1986. He made his major league debut on September 8, 1988. In his first full season of 1989, Gordon began as a middle relief pitcher. He had a 10-2 record with the Royals out of the bullpen. He was put into the starting lineup in on July 17, 1989. In his first start, Gordon earned the win pitching eight innings, striking out 10 and giving up only two earned runs against the Milwaukee Brewers. On August 3, 1989, Gordon pitched his first complete game shutout of the Toronto Blue Jays with eight strikeouts. He was runner-up for Rookie-of-the-Year in the American League. In 1990, Gordon was a part of the starting rotation for the entire season, leading the pitching staff with 32 starts with a 12-11 record and an ERA of 3.73. He pitched six complete games, including a shutout on September 2, 1990 against the Seattle Mariners. In 1991, Gordon split time early in the season between the bullpen and the starting rotation, but by mid-July was sent back to the bullpen after having some bad outings. His 1992 season was the worst of his career, only having a 4.59 ERA and a 6-10 record. He bounced back in 1993 with 143 strikeouts and a 3.58 ERA. Gordon was placed back into the starting rotation in mid-July and his ERA began to improve. In his last three starts of the season, Gordon made 25 strikeouts in 22 innings pitched. During the 1994 and 1995 seasons, Gordon pitched exclusively as a starter. His ERA was creeping up as he pitched a 4.00 ERA and averaged 122 strikeouts for both seasons combined. Gordon decided to leave Kansas City as a free agent at the conclusion of the season signed with the Boston Red Sox in 1996. Gordon had a career 4.02 ERA with the Royals and compiled a record of 79-71. He is fifth all-time in strikeouts for the Royals with 999.

RANK #30 – DICK DRAGO (#41) – Starting Pitcher (1969-1973)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,390.14
23rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Dick Drago was selected in the 1968 Expansion Draft from the Detroit Tigers organization. He made his major league debut with the Kansas City Royals on April 11, 1969 against the Oakland Athletics in long relief. On May 2 of that season, Drago was inserted into the starting rotation in the second game of a doubleheader against the California Angels. In the game, Drago became the first pitcher in Royals history to have a complete game in a 3-2 victory. On August 30, 1969, Drago had a complete game shutout at Yankee Stadium in a 2-0 victory. Over the next four seasons, Drago became one of the primary starters of the Kansas City Royals. In 1971, after posting a 2.71 ERA, Drago was fifth in the Cy Young Award voting. On May 24, 1972, Drago pitched a 12-inning, 13-strikeout victory over the Minnesota Twins. During his 1973 season, Drago would receive very little run support. He accused team manager Jack McKeon of giving up on him. So in late 1973, the unhappy Drago was traded to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Marty Pattin. He posted a 3.52 ERA in his Royals career is is currently ninth all-time in innings pitched with 1,134. He also pitched 53 complete games with Kansas City.

RANK #29 – MIKE MACFARLANE (#15) – Catcher (1987-1988, 1996-1998)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,404.62
23rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Mike Macfarlane was drafted by the Royals in 1985 and made the majors in 1987. He was the opening day catcher in five seasons with the Royals. After 1988, he was the primary catcher for the Royals except for the 1989 season when we was backup to Gold Glove winning Bob Boone. Also in 1988, he became the first Royals rookie starting catcher for the Royals since Ellie Rodriguez did it in 1969. On August 4, 1990, Macfarlane hit his first grand slam against the Baltimore Orioles. On July 14, 1991, Macfarlane played his best game with the Royals in an 18-4 rout of the Detroit Tigers. Macfarlane went 4-6 with two home runs and five RBIs. In 1992, he led the team in home runs with 17, also hitting his second grand slam on July 11 against the Detroit Tigers. He had a lifetime .256 batting average with the Royals along with 103 home runs. Macfarlane also holds the Royals record for being hit by a pitch with 78. He ranks in the top ten of all-time catchers in American League history with a .993 fielding percentage. On May 31, 1994, Macfarlane hit a grand slam against the Boston Red Sox. After free agency, he signed with the Boston Red Sox for one season in 1995 before returning the the Royals for three more seasons. Macfarlane hit .269 between the years 1996 through 1997 with 27 home runs and 89 RBIs. He appeared in only three games for the Royals in 1998 before being traded to the Oakland Athletics for Shane Mack and a minor league player. Macfarlane hit .256 with the Kansas City Royals along with 103 home runs. Macfarlane is the all-time franchise leader for innings played as a catcher with 6,398.

RANK #28 – DANNY TARTABULL (#4) – Right Field (1987-1991)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,452.64
23rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Danny Tartabull was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Rick Luecken, by the Seattle Mariners for Scott Bankhead, Mike Kingery and Steve Shields. His father, Jose Tartabull, played for the old Kansas City Athletics from 1962 to 1966. He was one of the top rookies in the major leagues for the Mariners and his sophomore year with the Royals was even better. In 1987, he hit .309 with 101 RBIs. He hit 34 home runs, just two short of the all-time season record for the Royals. He hit a grand slam for the Royals on October 2, 1987 against the Minnesota Twins. Despite his batting average dropping slightly in 1988, Tartabull continued to hit well for the Royals with a career-high 102 RBIs and 26 home runs. He hit a total of three grand slams in 1988. His first was on May 5 against the Texas Rangers, the second on August 11 against the Baltimore Orioles and the third on September 20 against the Seattle Mariners. He finished 1988 eighth in the league in doubles and seventh in the league in RBIs. By 1989, Tartabull began suffering from injuries and he split time between right field and designated hitter. His offensive production began to drop and his strikeouts began to rise. He missed most of April of 1990 due to injuries and continued to be nagged by the throughout the season, dropping him to only 88 appearances. In 1991, Tartabull bounced back with the best year of his career. He hit .316 with 31 home runs and 102 RBIs. On July 6, 1991, Tartabull hit three home runs in one game against the Oakland Athletics. On August 14, 1991, Tartabull hit his fifth career grand slam against the New York Yankees, tying the Royals record for the most grand slams in a career. Although he played most of the season in right field, Tartabull represented the Kansas City Royals in the 1991 All-Star Game as a starting designated hitter. At the end of the season, Tartabull chose not to renew his contract with the Royals and signed with the New York Yankees, becoming the highest paid baseball player in the majors at $5,300,000. Tartabull is third all-time in innings played in right field with 4,456. He is seventh all-time in home runs with 124. He hit .290 while in Kansas City with 425 RBIs and 141 doubles.

RANK #27 – AL FITZMORRIS (#39) – Starting Pitcher (1969-1976)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,570.45
39th Royals Player in Franchise History

Al Fitzmorris was selected in the 1968 Expansion Draft from the Chicago White Sox. He remained with the Royals organization for eight years and had a career 3.48 ERA, a 70-48 record and is ranked 11th all-time in innings pitched with 1,098 innings. While only playing in seven games in 1969, Fitzmorris was called up full time in 1970 as a long relief pitcher who occasionally started games. Between 1970 and 1972, Fitzmorris posted a modest 4.14 ERA. In 1973, Fitzmorris was demoted to AAA Omaha to work on his delivery. He was brought back the the majors on July 17, 1973 and made great contributions. His 1973 ERA dropped to a career low 2.83 and posted an 8-3 record. In 1974, he continued this success with 2.79 ERA and a 13-6 record, despite his lack of strikeouts. On June 4, 1974, he became the first pitcher in baseball history to have a complete game shutout without any walks or strikeouts. His career year came in 1975 when Fitzmorris won a career high 16 games. On May 27, 1975, Fitzmorris pitched a complete game shutout of the Yankees with three strikeouts and giving up only three hits. After the 1976 season, Fitzmorris became one of the few players in major league history to be drafted in two different expansion drafts. He was selected in the second round to the newly created Toronto Blue Jays.

RANK #26 – GREG HOLLAND (#56) – Closing Pitcher (2010-2015)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,596.35
39th Royals Player in Franchise History

Greg Holland was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2007. He made his major league debut on August 2, 2010. In 2010, Holland only pitched 15 games with a very high 6.75 ERA. He was brought back in mid-May of 2011 as a set up pitcher to closer Joakim Soria. He had 18 holds on the season. He continued his setup duties in 2012 to a new closer, Jonathan Broxton, until he was traded in August. Holland then took over the closing duties. He earned 16 saves in 2012 with an ERA of 2.96. After a slow start for Holland in 2013, Holland suddenly was on fire. He was named Pitcher-of-the-Month in July for scoring 11 saves with a 0.82 ERA. Holland was named to the All-Star team and recorded the first hold by a Royals pitcher in a midsummer classic. Holland had a 1.21 season ERA and was second in the league in saves next to Jim Johnson of the Baltimore Orioles. He was the 2013 TSN Relief Pitcher-of-the-Year for the American League. On September 26, 2013, Holland broke the Royals’ save record previous held by Dan Quisenberry and Jeff Montgomery of 37 saves. His 2014 season was just as dominating as the previous. He earned 46 saves out of 48 save opportunities. His 1.44 ERA was one of the best in the American League for a closing pitcher. Holland was the first-ever winner of the Mariano Rivera Award for the best relief pitcher in the American League. He helped lead the Royals to their first playoff appearance in 29 years and became the first relief pitcher to earn a save in the post-season since Dan Quisenberry. In the 2014 post-season, Holland was brilliant. He had a 0.82 ERA with seven saves in 11 appearances. In 2015, Holland began the season with seven saves and a 0.90 ERA in his first month. However, a nagging elbow injury hurt his pitching performance and his ERA shot up to a 4.67 after May 15. By mid-September, it was clear that Holland was unable to finish the season and he immediately had Tommy John surgery. Holland did not get to pitch in the playoffs for the Royals that led them to a World Championship. He was released from the team after the season. He is fourth all-time in team saves with 145.

RANK #25 – ERIC HOSMER (#35) – First Base (2011-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,626.29
733rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Eric Hosmer was a first-round draft pick by the Kansas City Royals in 2008. He made his major league debut on May 6, 2011, replacing Kila Ka’aihue at first base. Hosmer did not disappoint when he arrived. He hit .293 with 19 home runs and 78 RBIs in his first season. Hosmer had four 4-RBI games in his first season as well as stealing 11 bases. Hosmer had a very rough sophomore season, with his offensive production dropping to a batting average of only .232. Hosmer did hit 14 home runs in the season along with 16 stolen bases. However, he had the best season of his career in 2013. He hit .302 for the season, ninth in the American League, along with 17 home runs and 11 stolen bases. At the end of the season, Hosmer won the Gold Glove Award as the top fielding first basemen in the American League. His offensive production fell slightly in 2014, but he was still one of the best fielding first basemen in major league baseball. He was second in the league in putouts, assists, and error committed for a first baseman. Hosmer probably would have led the league had it not been for a broken hand that placed him on the disabled list for nearly all of August. He was a part of the best defensive team in major league baseball and helped lead the Royals to their first playoff appearance in 29 years as well as winning his second Gold Glove Award. In the postseason, Hosmer’s bat came alive, hitting over .500 in his first three games and hitting a game-winning home run in the second game of the ALDS against the Angels. Hosmer ended the 2014 post-season as the Royals’ hottest hitter with a .351 batting average with two home runs and 12 RBIs. In 2015, Hosmer became one of the most offensively reliable players on the team. He hit .297 with 18 home runs and a career-high 93 RBIs. He helped the Royals to their second World Series berth in a row. He struggled offensively in the postseason with a .194 batting average, but was able to drive in 17 runs in 72 plate appearances. After the season, Hosmer won his third Gold Glove Award for first base. As of 2015, Hosmer is hitting .280 with 77 home runs with the Royals. He is second only to John Mayberry in innings played at first base with 6,261 1/3. He is still currently playing for the Royals.

RANK #24 – JOAKIM SORIA (#48) – Closing Pitcher (2007-2011, 2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,640.20
650th Royals Player in Franchise History

Joakim Soria was selected in the 2006 Rule 5 Draft in 2006 from the San Diego Padres. He made his major league debut on April 4, 2007. The Royals were without a clear closing pitcher in 2007, and the role rotated between Soria and Octavio Dotel. His rookie season was very impressive with a 2.48 ERA in 69 innings pitched and with 75 strikeouts. His 2008 season was the best of his career. He became the closer for the Royals, pitching in 63 games and was second in the major leagues with 42 saves. On July 15, 2008, Soria pitched for the Kansas City Royals in the All-Star Game. The game was a 15-inning marathon and Soria came into the game late, pitching 1 2/3 innings and striking out two. His success continued for the next two seasons, posting 73 saves over that time period along with a 1.97 ERA. By 2011, he earned the nickname “The Mexecutioner,” although he asked not to be called this because he found it insensitive to those being murdered throughout Mexico. Unfortunately, the 2011 season was not going well for Soria. His ERA rose to 4.03 and he posted only 28 saves. Worse, during Spring Training of 2012, Soria became injured and required Tommy John surgery. He would miss the entire 2012 season. At the end of 2012, he signed with the Texas Rangers. He would go on to pitch for Detroit and Pittsburgh before re-signing with the Royals as a free agent in 2016. He is currently a relief pitcher for Kansas City. Soria is third all-time in saves with 160, only behind Jeff Montgomery and Dan Quisenberry. As of 2015, his career ERA was 2.40 in 298 relief appearances. Soria is the most successful Rule 5 draftee in Royals history.

RANK #23 – CHARLIE LEIBRANDT (#37) – Starting Pitcher (1984-1989)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,659.98
210th Royals Player in Franchise History

Charlie Leibrandt had been sent back to the minor leagues by the Cincinnati Reds and spent the entire 1983 season in the minors. In June of 1983, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals for Bob Tufts. When he arrived at AAA Omaha, he dominated the pitching staff and earned his way back to the major leagues in 1984. He joined a very young pitching staff with rookie pitchers Mark Gubicza and Bret Saberhagen, lefty Bud Black and the sole veteran Larry Gura. In his first three starts, Leibrandt pitched no less than eight innings each game with two runs or less. He posted an 11-7 record with an ERA of 3.63. Leibrandt started game three of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers in 1984, a complete game loss of 1-0 that ended the series. In 1985, he dominated as a starter. He was one of the top five pitchers in the American League and April’s Pitcher-of-the-Month. His 2.69 ERA was the second lowest of any starter in the league. He was also one of the best fielding pitchers in the American League, leading the league in fielding assists for pitchers. He started two games in the 1985 World Series with a 0-1 record and a 2.76 ERA. He earned the nickname “Rembrandt” for his finesse masterpieces. He was a solid starter for the Royals over the next four years. On May 17, 1987, Leibrandt nearly had a no-hitter until Milwaukee’s Bill Schroeder hit a bunt single. He had six strikeouts in the 13-0 victory over the Brewers. In 1989, Leibrandt was traded, along with Rick Luecken, to the Atlanta Braves for Gerald Perry and a minor league player. Leibrandt had a career 3.60 ERA with the Royals and a 76-61 record. He is seventh all-time in innings pitched for the Royals with 1,257. He pitched 34 complete games with 10 shutouts in his career.

RANK #22 – JOHNNY DAMON (#18) – Center Field (1995-2000)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,811.44
385th Royals Player in Franchise History

Johnny Damon was a first-round draft choice in 1992 by the Kansas City Royals. He made his major league debut on August 12, 1995. He was touted as the next George Brett before the season began in 1996. Damon was the opening day center fielder for the Royals. He showed power and speed. He hit .271 in his rookie year with six home runs and 25 stolen bases. On August 10, 1996, Damon hit his first grand slam against the California Angels. He also tied a Royals record with seven RBIs in a single game. He made slight improvements in 1997 with eight home runs and a .275 batting average. Damon was an everyday player for the Royals, but he began splitting up his time in all three outfield positions throughout the season. In 1998, Damon began to shine in the American League. He hit 18 home runs with 26 stolen bases and a .277 batting average. He hit his second grand slam on May 14, 1998 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He was second in the league with 10 triples in the season. Damon was improving every year. In 1999, Damon moved primarily to left field to make room for Carlos Beltran in center field and Jermaine Dye in right field. He had 14 home runs and the starting outfield combined to have 304 RBIs. His .307 batting average was the best of his career so far. He was having better control at the plate with 67 walks and only 50 strikeouts. In 2000, Damon led the league with 46 stolen bases. He topped his previous season’s batting average by hitting .327. He led the league with 136 runs scored and was third in the league with 10 triples. On September 15, 2000, Damon hit his third grand slam against the Texas Rangers. In 2001, the Royals made a very unpopular move by trading Damon, along with Mark Ellis, to the Oakland athletics in a 3-team deal that sent Roberto Hernandez, Angel Berroa and A.J. Hinch to the Royals from Oakland. Damon is sixth all-time in innings played in center field with 3,276 2/3 and seventh all-time in left field with 2,073 innings. Damon hit .292 in his career with the Royals with 65 home runs and 156 stolen bases. He also played over 1,000 innings in right field.

RANK #21 – DAVID DEJESUS (#9) – Center Field (2003-2010)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 2,894.42
560th Royals Player in Franchise History

David DeJesus was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 2000. He made his major league debut on September 2, 2003. In 2004, Carlos Beltran was traded and Juan Gonzalez became injured. This was the opportunity for DeJesus to become the everyday center fielder for the Royals. He hit a respectable .287 with seven home runs and 39 RBIs. In 2006, he began splitting time evenly between center field and left field to make room for the speedy Joey Gathright. The 2007 season was a down-season for DeJesus, batting only .260 with eight home runs. He did, however, lead the American League in being hit by a pitch 23 times. In 2008, DeJesus had his best season. He hit 12 home runs with seven triples, 11 stolen bases and a batting average of .307. On June 15, 2008, DeJesus hit his first career grand slam against the Arizona Diamondbacks. After hitting the grand slam, the radio announcer said, “He smashed the living DeJesus out of that ball!” He had the best game of his career, however, on June 18, 2009 when he went 3-5 with four RBIs and missed hitting for the cycle by not hitting a home run. In 2010, DeJesus played the season under the threat of being traded like his other starting outfielders. However, he injured his thumb in July and had to have season-ending surgery. He was not re-signed after the season and DeJesus signed with the Oakland Athletics. DeJesus is fifth all-time in innings played for the Royals in left field and center field with 2,273 2/3 innings and 4,276 2/3 innings, respectively. He was a career .289 hitter with the Royals with 61 home runs, three of which were inside-the-park, and 390 RBIs.

RANK #20 – JOE RANDA (#16) – Third Base (1995-1996, 1999-2004)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 3,091.99
369th Royals Player in Franchise History

Joe Randa was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1991. He had his major league debut on April 30, 1995. Randa had only 34 appearances in his first major league season, bouncing back and forth from Kansas City and AAA Omaha. In 1995, he was given a chance to replace Gary Gaetti at third base. He had an outstanding rookie season with a .303 batting average and six home runs. He earned the nickname “The Joker” because of his continuous smile during games. At the end of the season, it was decided by the Royals to trade Randa, along with three other players, to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Jay Bell and Jeff King. Randa would play all of 1997 with the Pirates. Then, he was selected in the 1997 Expansion Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Soon after, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers for the 1998 season. In December of 1998, he was traded to the New York Mets. Six days later, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals for a minor league player. Randa’s 1999 season was the best of his career. Hit hit .314 with 16 home runs and 84 RBIs. He was fifth in the major leagues in triples with eight and sixth in hits with 197. He was one of the top fielding third baseman in the American League. In 2001, he hit 13 home runs, including a grand slam on May 16, 2001 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. His last three seasons with the Royals were very consistent, batting .286 over that time. In 2003, he had the best fielding percentage of any third baseman in the American League. He was granted free agency in late 2004 and Randa signed with the Cincinnati Reds. Randa is eighth all-time in hits with the Royals with 1,084 and tenth in games played with 1,019. Randa is second only to George Brett in innings played at third base with 7,953 2/3. Randa is one of the best third basemen in Royals history.

RANK #19 – JOHN MAYBERRY (#7) – First Base (1972-1977)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 3,140.62
63rd Royals Player in Franchise History

John Mayberry was traded by the Houston Astros to the Kansas City Royals for Jim York and Lance Clemons in 1971. The left-handed Mayberry made a major impact on the Royals in his first season, hitting 25 home runs and being second in the league with 100 RBIs. After just hitting .191 for Houston, Mayberry found a home in Kansas City. He was referred to as “Big John.” On September 20, 1972, Mayberry hit his only Royals-career grand slam against the California Angels. He led the American League in innings played by a first baseman, putouts and double plays. His fielding percentage was also the best in the American League for a first baseman. Mayberry also showed great control at the plate, having drawn 78 walks to 74 strikeouts. He would have more walks than strikeouts for five of his six seasons with the Royals. He lead the league in walks drawn with 122 in 1973. He hit 26 home runs and was voted the starting first baseman in the All-Star Game, opposite of Hank Aaron on the National League team. He became the first Royals player to play a complete game in an All-Star game. His 1974 season was a struggle, hitting only .234 with 22 home runs. Mayberry began sharing the first base duties with Tony Solaita. But in 1975, Mayberry came roaring back with the best season of his career. He set the team record of 34 home runs that would stand until 1985 when it was broken by Steve Balboni. He hit a league leading 119 RBIs. His batting average was .291 and he had the best on-base percentage of anyone in the league with .417. In the month of July alone, Mayberry hit 12 home runs and had a .365 batting average. He was named the American League Player-of-the-Month. On July 1, 1975, Mayberry hit three solo home runs against future Hall-of-Fame pitcher Fergie Jenkins of the Texas Rangers. He came in second to Boston Red Sox player Fred Lynn for the American League MVP. After the 1975 season, Mayberry struggled again. His batting average dropped to .231 over the next two seasons. He only hit 36 home runs over those two seasons while the Royals were enjoying the greatest success yet. Rumors began to fly that Mayberry was having personal issues. Mayberry arrived late to Game Four of the ALCS against the New York Yankees hungover from an outing the night before. He was pulled midway through the game and benched during the decisive Game Five. The Royals were interested in moving Clint Hurdle into the first base role, so in April of 1978, the Royals sold Mayberry’s contract to the Toronto Blue Jays. John Mayberry ended his career playing more innings at first base than any other Royals player in history with 7,260 1/3 innings. He is sixth all-time in home runs with 143, despite only playing six seasons with the Royals. Mayberry walked 561 times compared to only 457 strikeouts. He is considered one of the greatest power hitters in Royals history. In 1996, Mayberry was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame.

RANK #18 – FREDDIE PATEK (#2) – Shortstop (1971-1979)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 3,169.65
52nd Royals Player in Franchise History

In 1970, Freddie Patek was traded to the Kansas City Royals, along with Bruce Dal Canton and Jerry May, by the Pittsburgh Pirates for Bob Johnson, Jackie Hernandez and Jim Campanis. Patek was known as “The Flea” because he was the smallest major league baseball player of his time at 5’4” and 148lbs. His first season with the Royals was the best of his career, hitting .267 and leading the major leagues with 11 triples. He had 49 stolen bases and six home runs as well. On July 9, 1971, Patek became the first player in Royals history to hit for the cycle, all hits being off of Jim Perry of the Minnesota Twins. In 1972, his offensive production dropped off, but not his base-stealing. He was third in the league in the category. Patek let the league in assists as a shortstop and would continue to be one of the best defensive shortstops of the American League throughout the 1970s. In 1976, Patek started the season on fire, hitting .331 by the end of May. His bat as well as his glove helped him earn an All-Star Game berth in 1976. He helped the Royals clinch their first-ever playoff berth against the New York Yankees. Patek and teammate Cookie Rojas famously jumped into the outfield fountains to celebrate the moment. In 1977, he led the American League with 53 stolen bases and improved his batting average to .262. He was picked for his second All-Star Game as a Royals player as well as helping lead the Royals to their second ALCS. During the 1977 playoffs, Patek hit .389 with two doubles, a triple and five RBIs. In his last two seasons with the Royals, age began to take its toll and his defensive prowess began to wane. A young U L Washington began to see more time at the shortstop position and Patek was granted free agency at the conclusion of the 1979 season. He would sign with the California Angels and play for two more seasons before retiring. Royals manager Whitey Herzog once said that Patek was the greatest shortstop in baseball on artificial turf, even more so than Ozzie Smith. Patek was known as a quiet, deeply religious player in the locker room. Patek was the only player allowed to miss morning batting practice on Sundays so that may attend church. Patek played 1,245 games with the Kansas City Royals and had a career .241 batting average. Patek is third all-time in stolen bases with 336 while in Kansas City. He played 10,490 innings at shortstop, more than any other Royals player in history. For eight straight years, Patek had 30 or more stolen bases and led the league in double plays turned. His range factor at shortstop was one of the best of any shortstop of his era. In 1992, Freddie Patek was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame.

RANK #17 – CARLOS BELTRAN (#15) – Center Field (1998-2004)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 3,170.85
451st Royals Player in Franchise History

Carlos Beltran was selected in the second round of the 1995 draft. Be made his major league debut on September 14, 1998. In 1999, Beltran was selected as the leadoff center fielder on opening day against the Boston Red Sox. He hit .293 in his rookie season with 194 hits, 22 home runs and 108 RBIs. Between May 14 and May 16, 1999 against the Seattle Mariners, Beltran went 7-14 with six RBIs and one home run. He led the American league with 150 complete games in center field. At the end of the 1999 season, Beltran was selected as the American League Rookie-of-the-Year. In 2000, Beltran became injured and only played in 98 games. He lost his center field position to Johnny Damon. The one bright spot in the season came on June 29, when Beltran became the fourth player to hit two home runs in a single game from both sides of the plate against Cleveland. In 2001, Damon was traded and Beltran became the everyday center fielder once again. He hit .306 for the season with 24 home runs and 101 RBIs. Beltran hit two of his four career grand slams in 2001. His first was on August 22 against the Chicago White Sox and the second was against the Detroit Tigers on October 7. In the August 22 game, Beltran earned six RBIs. In 2002, Beltran appeared in every game for the Royals with a career high 29 home runs and 105 RBIs. He hit two more grand slams in 2002 making him second all-time for grand slams as a Royals player next to Danny Tartabull. On September 6, Beltran hit two home runs from both sides of the plate for the second time in his career against Seattle, becoming the only player in franchise history to accomplish the feat twice. His offensive abilities did not let up in 2003 when he hit .307 with 26 home runs, 100 RBIs and 41 stolen bases. Despite three straight seasons with over 100 RBIs and more than 30 stolen bases, Beltran was never picked to the All-Star team. But he was finally selected as a starter in 2004 to the American League team. However, just before the All-Star Game, Beltran was traded in a complex three-team deal. Mike Wood was sent to the Kansas City Royals, along with Mark Teahen, from the Oakland Athletics. Kansas City sent Carlos Beltran to the Houston Astros, Houston sent Octavio Dotel to Oakland, and Houston sent John Buck to Kansas City with cash. Beltran was denied the opportunity to play for the American League in the All-Star game, however, when National League starter Ken Griffey, Jr. went on the DL, Beltran was his replacement. He became the only major league player selected to play on one league’s All-Star team and actually play for the other. Beltran was a career .300 hitter for the Royals with 123 home runs, 516 RBIs, 45 triples and 164 stolen bases. He became one of the greatest center fielders in Royals history and his 6,545 1/3 innings there makes him third all-time in franchise history. Beltran is currently playing for the New York Yankees.

RANK #16 – BILLY BUTLER (#16) – Designated Hitter (2007-2014)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 3,577.88
655th Royals Player in Franchise History

Billy Butler was a first-round draft choice by the Kansas City Royals in 2004. He made his major league debut with the Royals on May 1, 2007. In his first season, Butler primarily was a designated hitter with a few starts at first base. He hit .292 in 92 appearances with eight home runs and 52 RBIs. In 2008, Butler split time with Ross Gload at first base, but again played the majority of his season as a designated hitter. He improved to 11 home runs and a .275 batting average. In 2009, Butler was made the everyday first baseman for the Royals. He had trouble at the position, leading the league in errors with 10 on the season. However, Butler was known for hitting doubles and hit 51 on the season, nearly toppling Hal McRae’s record of 54 in a season. Butler hit .301 with 21 home runs and 93 RBIs. He spent most of 2010 at first base again and his batting average soared to .318. He was forced to play first base again in 2011 when Kila Ka’aihue did not work out. In 2011, Butler won the Hutch Award for fighting spirit and competitive desire. He also earned the nickname “Country Breakfast” by the fans. The 2012 season was the best of his career. He hit .313 with 29 home runs and a trip to the All-Star Game. He also had a career high 107 RBIs. In 2013, Butler played in every game of the season. He hit .289 on the season with 15 home runs and 82 RBIs. Butler also won the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award for 2012. On April 7, 2013, Butler hit his first grand slam against the Philadelphia Phillies. Unfortunately, Butler began the 2014 on a slow start, hitting only .226 by mid-May and did not have his first home run until July 10. When first baseman Eric Hosmer went on the disabled list, Butler started at first base for the first time in two years and his offensive numbers greatly improved. Butler helped lead the Royals to their first playoff appearance in 29 years. He shined in the post-season, hitting .263 and driving in eight runs. Butler is second all-time in plate appearances as a designated hitter with 3,069. He is also eighth all-time for innings played at first base with 3,317. At the end of the 2014 season, the Royals did not renew his contract and Butler signed with the Oakland Athletics, where he still is to this day. He had a .295 batting average with 127 home runs and 628 RBIs while in Kansas City.

RANK #15 – ALEX GORDON (#4) – Left Field (2007-2016)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 3,757.18
645th Royals Player in Franchise History

Alex Gordon was a first-round draft pick of the Kansas City Royals in 2005. Gordon was the Golden Spikes Award winner in 2005 as the top collegiate baseball player and named Minor League Player of the Year in 2006. He was made the opening day third baseman position on April 2, 2007 for his major league debut. Gordon only hit .247 in his rookie year, but drove in 15 home runs and made 14 stolen bases. In 2008, Gordon’s batting average rose to .260 with 16 home runs, but he was having troubles at third base. He had the worst fielding percentage of any third baseman in the American League and he he led the club for the second year in a row in strikeouts. He missed a month, starting in mid-August, due to a torn muscle injury. In 2009, his struggles continued until he injured his hip in mid-April and was on the disabled list for twelve weeks.

Gordon started the 2010 season on the disabled list again and was demoted to AAA Omaha in early May. While in Omaha, he began playing left field and returned to the Royals when David DeJesus was placed on the DL. Gordon still struggled at the plate and finished the season hitting .215. Gordon made a miraculous turnaround in 2011. Now playing in left field, he was second on the team with 185 hits and a batting average of .303. He drove in 23 home runs and stole 17 bases. He was second in the major leagues in doubles with 45 and first in the league in assists from the outfield with 20.

Gordon, along with Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur made up the best fielding outfield in baseball. He earned his first Gold Glove of his career. In 2013, Gordon’s batting average dropped to .265, but he hit 20 home runs and had six triples. He had two grand slams during the season. The first was on April 25 against the Detroit Tigers and the second was on July 2 against the Cleveland Indians. He was chosen to represent Kansas City in the 2013 All-Star Game. In 2014, Gordon led the team in RBIs and home runs with 74 and 19, respectively. He was selected to his second All-Star team. His offensive number for the season were down from the previous year, although he went on a tear in August, hitting nine home runs. Gordon helped lead the Royals to their first playoff appearance in 29 years. He was also the best fielding outfielder on the best defensive team in the major leagues.

In the playoffs and the World Series of 2014, Gordon displayed his outstanding defense and drove in 11 runs with only a .204 batting average. Gordon was the last batter to hit for the Royals in Game 7 against the San Francisco Giants, but was unable to get home in the ninth inning. He did, however, win another Gold Glove for left field in the American League as well as the American League Platinum Glove as the best defensive player in the league. Gordon also won the coveted Hutch Award for fighting spirit and competitive desire. In 2015, Gordon continued to be one of the best outfielders in baseball.

He was ultimately picked to be the starting left fielder for the American League All-Star team before a groin injury sidelined him for the game and the months of July and August. Gordon came back in September to help the Royals back to the World Series. In Game One of the World Series with the Royals down to the New York Mets 3-4, Gordon hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning to send the game into extra innings. The Royals ultimately won the game in 5-4. He helped the Royals win their second World Series title in five games. As of 2015, Gordon is hitting .269 as a member of the Kansas City Royals. He is seventh all-time in innings at third base with 2,805 and first all-time in left field with 6,821 1/3. He is still playing for Kansas City

RANK #14 – LARRY GURA (#32) – Starting Pitcher (1976-1985)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 3,793.81
107th Royals Player in Franchise History

Larry Gura was traded from the New York Yankees to the Kansas City Royals for Fran Healy in May of 1976. It was mentioned in book “The Bronx Zoo” that Gura was traded because New York manager Billy Martin saw him playing tennis and did not like the game, so he traded Gura away. Gura’s start with the Royals was shaky, pitching an ERA of 7.71 in his first five appearances.

The Royals continued to work on his form and he missed the entire month of June. By the first of August, he began to pitch brilliantly. On September 29, 1976, Gura pitched his first complete game shutout of the Oakland Athletics. He started two games against his former team in the 1976 ALCS, having a 0-1 record with a 4.22 ERA. In 1977, Gura pitched in 52 games with six starts. He earned 10 saves on the season with a record of 8-5. His ERA was very respectable at 3.13. Despite spending the majority of the season in the bullpen, Gura pitched another complete game shutout on August 4, 1977 against the Toronto Blue Jays. However, Gura struggled in the 1977 ALCS by giving up four earned runs in only two innings pitched in two appearances. His 1978 season was brilliant. He went 16-4 with a 2.72 ERA, sixth best in the American League.

He made one winning start in the 1978 ALCS against the Yankees, giving up only two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings. His ERA slipped in 1979 to 4.47, but still managed a 13-12 season. In 1980, Gura was masterful from the mound, having a career high 18 wins on the season and a 2.95 ERA. He also had a career high 16 complete games with four shutouts during the season. This included two consecutive shutouts of the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays on April 25 and April 30, respectively. His April 30 outing was a one-hitter. He was selected to the 1980 All-Star Game, but did not have an opportunity to pitch. Gura also had the best fielding percentage of any pitcher in the American League, a title he would hold for three of the next four years. He pitched a complete game victory against the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the 1980 ALCS and started two games of the 1980 World Series.

Despite having a World Series ERA of 2.19, Gura did not earn a decision. In 1981, Gura continued to pitch well in the strike-shortened season with 12 of his 23 starts being complete games. For the second time in his career, Gura had 18 wins in a season in 1982. By 1983, time began to wear on Gura. He lost a career-high 18 games as well as posting a career-high 4.90 ERA. Things went from bad to worse in 1984 when his ERA shot up to 5.18 despite having a winning record. In 1985, Gura was sent to the bullpen, but the writing was on the wall by the third appearance. Gura was released from the Royals in May and was picked up by the Chicago Cubs. Larry Gura finished his career with the Royals fifth all-time in innings pitched with 1,701 1/3. He had a 111-78 career record, 12 saves and seven holds. Larry Gura was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1992.

RANK #13 – BRET SABERHAGEN (#18) – Starting Pitcher (1984-1991)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 4,008.45
203rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Bret Saberhagen was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1982. He made his major league debut with the Royals on April 4, 1984, pitching 4 2/3 innings in relief of the aging Paul Splittorff. In his first season with the Royals, Saberhagen split time as a starter and relief pitcher. He made 18 starts and 20 relief appearances, earning a 3.48 ERA with 73 strikeouts. He also made a start in the 1984 ALCS against the Detroit Tigers, going eight innings without a decision. In 1985, Saberhagen became a full-time starter for the Royals. In that season, Saberhagen became only the fourth pitcher in franchise history to win at least 20 games in a season. He had a 2.87 ERA with 158 strikeouts. His best game that season came on May 17, 1985 when he pitched a 3-0 complete game shutout of the Milwaukee Brewers. He had the the lowest WHIP of any pitcher in the league.

He started two games in the 1985 ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays, but only pitched a 6.14 ERA without a decision. His moment came in the 1985 World Series. He started Game 3, pitching a complete game victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, only giving up one earned run in nine innings. Then, he started the pivotal Game 7, pitching a masterpiece complete game 11-0 shutout of the St. Louis Cardinals, bringing home the World Championship to Kansas City. He was named Cy Young Award Winner for the season and World Series MVP of 1985. Unfortunately, his 1986 season proved to be the worst of his career. He only had a 7-12 record with an ERA of 4.15. The 1987 season became his comeback season, posting an 18-10 record with 3.36 ERA. He became the first starting pitcher since Steve Busby in 1975 to pitch in the All-Star Game. To date, he is the only Royals pitcher to start an All-Star Game. In 1988, Saberhagen lacked run support and his losing record of 14-16 did not reflect his favorable 3.80 ERA.

The 1989 season proved to be the best of his career. Saberhagen won a club-record 23 wins in the season, the best in the American League. He was first in the league in innings pitched, WHIP, and complete games. He won his second Cy Young award with 99% of the vote. He also won the American League Gold Glove for pitchers. His 1990 season started off just as good as the previous year. He was selected once again to the All-Star game and became the first Kansas City Royals pitcher to earn a win in the mid-season classic.

Unfortunately, he pitched only one game after the all-star break before becoming injured. He would not return until late September of that season. In 1991, Saberhagen continued to pitch very well, posting a 3.07 season ERA. On August 26, 1991, Saberhagen pitched the fourth no-hitter in Royals history, blanking the Chicago White Sox 6-0 with five strikeouts. After the 1991 season, Saberhagen was traded, along with Bill Pecota, to the New York Mets in exchange for Keith Miller, Gregg Jefferies and Kevin McReynolds. It became one of the most unpopular trades in Royals history. Saberhagen is third all-time in complete games with 64 and fourth all-time in shutouts with 14. His career ERA of 3.21 is one of the best of a starting pitcher in Royals history. He was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 2005.

RANK #12 – KEVIN APPIER (#55) – Starting Pitcher (1989-1999, 2003-2004)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 4,056.39
274th Royals Player in Franchise History

Kevin Appier was a first round draft choice in 1987. He made his major league debut with the Royals on June 4, 1989. By 1990, Appier was part of the starting rotation. On July 7, 1990, Appier gave up a hit to Lou Whitaker of the Detroit Tigers in the first inning. He went on to pitch a one-hit game, defeating the Tigers 4-0. It placed Appier on the map as one of the best pitchers in baseball. He ended the season with the fourth best ERA in the American League at 2.76, the lowest by a rookie starting pitcher since 1976. With that, Appier won Rookie Pitcher-of-the-Year.

In 1991, Appier pitched two consecutive shutouts. The first was on August 7 against Boston and the second was the first game of a doubleheader against the New York Yankees. In 1992, Appier finished the season with a 2.46 ERA, second only to Roger Clemens. The 1993 season was by far his best with an 18-8 record and an ERA of 2.56. On July 27, Appier pitched a losing effort to Texas 1-0, giving up just one hit (a homerun) in the game. From August 28 to September 23, Appier pitched 33 consecutive scoreless innings, a new club record and not broken until Zach Greinke did it over two seasons with 38 scoreless innings.

Despite having the best ERA in the league, he finished third in the Cy Young Award voting behind Chicago’s Jack McDowell and Seattle’s Randy Johnson. In the strike-ridden 1994 season, Kevin Appier and David Cone, the 1994 Cy Young winner, were the major league’s best pitching duo. In 1995, Appier’s first half of the season was brilliant with a 11-2 record and a 2.02 ERA. He was picked to pitch at the 1995 All-Star Game, but lost out the starting role to Randy Johnson. He finished the decade as the third best pitcher in all of baseball, behind Atlanta’s Greg Maddux and Boston’s Roger Clemens.

After the 1997 season, Appier slipped and fell in a freak accident and injured his shoulder. He would only pitch in three games in the 1998 season. His return to baseball was not quite the same. In 1999, his ERA rose to 4.87. On July 31, 1999, the Kansas City Royals traded Appier to the Oakland Athletics for Blake Stein, Brad Rigby and Jeff D’Amico. Appier would play for three other teams before being re-signed by the Royals in 2003 after being released by the Anaheim Angels. Appier only pitched two games in 2004 before announcing his retirement from baseball. Appier is fourth all-time in Royals history for innings pitched with 1,843 2/3. He had 32 complete games with 10 shutouts in his career. He holds the team record for strikeouts with 1,458, 92 more strikeouts than the next pitcher.

His overall record was 115-92 and is fourth all-time in wins. Despite not having the accolades of other pitchers of his era, Appier is now considered to be one of the greatest pitchers of the latter half of the 20th Century. In 2011, Kevin Appier was elected to the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame.

RANK #11 – MIKE SWEENEY (#29) – First Base (1995-2007)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 4,439.42
389th Royals Player in Franchise History

Mike Sweeney was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1991. He made his major league debut on September 4, 1995. He only played four games. In 1996, Sweeney was brought up from AAA Omaha in mid-July as a backup catcher by replacing the struggling Sal Fasano. He hit .279 with four home runs splitting time between catcher and designated hitter. He continued as a backup catcher into the 1997 season. In 1998, Sweeney split time evenly with Sal Fasano for the top catching spot. But in 1999, Sweeney made a radical change of position. After the sudden retirement of Jeff King, Sweeney took the job.

As first baseman, he had the best fielding percentage at the position in over 20 years for the Royals. He led the team with a .322 batting average and was second in the American League in doubles with 44. On May 14, 1999, Sweeney hit his first grand slam of his Royals career against the Seattle Mariners. In 2000, he improved his performance by hitting .333 with 29 home runs and 144 RBIs. He led the league in being hit by a pitch with 15. He was selected to the first of five All-Star Games as a first baseman. Sweeney continued his success in 2001 by leading the team in home runs with 29 and walks with 64. Sweeney was known as a deeply religious man and had a reputation as one of the nicest players in baseball.

However, on August 11, 2001, Sweeney asked the umpire to have the Detroit Tigers pitcher Jeff Weaver move the rosin bag. Weaver put his glove to his mouth and, according to Sweeney, said something offensive about his faith. Sweeney stormed the mound and a bench-clearing brawl ensued. Sweeney was suspended for 10 days due to the incident. In 2002, Sweeney had the best season of his career. He hit the second-best batting average in Royals history of .340, only behind George Brett’s .390 average from 1980.

Sweeney ended in second place for the batting title behind Boston Red Sox player Manny Ramirez. On August 14, 2002, Sweeney made only the fifth steal of home plate in Royals history. He also led the American League in assists from first base with 105. In 2003, he spent seven weeks on the disabled list due to back problems, the first of many that he would be plagued with for the remainder of his career. Prior to his injury on June 7, 2003, during the first game of a doubleheader, Sweeney hit his second grand slam against the Colorado Rockies.

During the 2004 season, Sweeney began to play more and more as a designated hitter. On July 22, 2004, Sweeney hit his third grand slam against the Detroit Tigers. His season ended in late August due to recurring injuries. In 2005, Sweeney played the majority of the season as a designated hitter for the first time in his career. He hit .300 on the season with 21 home runs. Sweeney’s injuries became more severe and he was restricted to only 60 games in 2006, all of which were as a designated hitter. In 2007, he continued to spend a lot of time on the DL.

He still continued to play hard when he was able and he became only the second Royals player ever to win the Hutch Award, given to a major league player who”best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire.” Sweeney was released at the end of the season and went on to play for the Oakland Athletics. Mike Sweeney is one of the best players in Royals history. He hit more than 20 home runs for six seasons and hit over .300 in five seasons. Sweeney is sixth all-time in at bats and games played, hitting .299 in his career. He is second all-time in home runs, only to George Brett, with 197. He is third all-time in games as a designated hitter and third all-time in innings player at first base with 4,717. In 2015, Sweeney was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame.

RANK #10 – DAN QUISENBERRY (#29) – Closing Pitcher (1979-1988)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 4,459.04
140th Royals Player in Franchise History

Dan Quisenberry signed as a non-drafted free agent in 1975. He made his major league debut on July 8, 1979. He was a setup man for closer Al Hrabosky, but toward the end of the season, Quisenberry took on the role of closer. In spring training of 1980, new Royals manager Jim Frey convinced Quisenberry to change his delivery to a side-arm like that of Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Kent Tekulve. It completely changed his career. In 1980, he pitched a league-high 75 games, with 68 game-finishes. He set a new Royals record with a league-leading 33 saves and had an amazing 12-7 record as a relief pitcher.

He pitched in every game in the 1980 World Series in relief, but recorded a 5.28 ERA and a 2-1 record. He became the first Royals pitcher to win the American League Rolaids Relief Award as the top closer in the league. In the strike-shortened season of 1981, he recorded only 18 saves and was eclipsed by future Hall-of-Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers of the Milwaukee Brewers. But in 1982, he was back on top as the premier closer in the American League. He led the American League from 1982 to 1985 in saves each year. Because of his era, Quisenberry’s closing appearances were usually more than one inning, much different than the modern-day one-inning closers. In 1983, his ERA was 1.94 and he set a major league record, for the time, of 45 saves. He won the American League Rolaids Relief Award four years in a row from 1982 to 1985. In 1984, Quisenberry came in third in the American League MVP Award. He was in the top three in votes for the American League Cy Young Award from 1982-1985. He also became the first pitcher in major league history to record two consecutive 40-save seasons.

In the year that the Royals won the World Series, Quisenberry pitched an astounding 84 games. He had several pitches in his repertoire which eluded batters, including a sinking fastball, curveball, changeup and occasional knuckleball. Quisenberry was not known as a strikeout pitcher, rather a pitcher that would force batters to hit the ball down and keep it on the field. By 1987, age and the wear on his arm began to take its toll. He began to share closing duties with re-acquired Royals pitcher Gene Garber. By 1988, he had been reduced to a middle relief role before being released by the Royals in mid-season and picked up by the St. Louis Cardinals. Quisenberry is second only to Jeff Montgomery in all-time saves for the Royals. Quisenberry established himself as one of the greatest closing pitchers in major league history. He had a career ERA of 2.55 and 51-44 record in 573 appearances with the Royals. Quisenberry pitched a franchise-record 920 1/3 innings of relief in Kansas City and was one of the most liked players to ever play for the Royals. Quisenberry was inducted into the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame in 1998 while he was battling brain cancer. He died shortly after the ceremony.

RANK #9 – MARK GUBICZA (#23) – Starting Pitcher (1984-1996)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 4,468.62
205th Royals Player in Franchise History

Mark Gubicza was selected in the second round of the 1981 draft. The pick was originally for St. Louis, but it was given to Kansas City in compensation for signing Darrell Porter. He made his major league debut on April 6, 1984 in a start against the Cleveland Indians. Gubicza went 10-14 in his rookie season with the Royals. As a rookie, he was second on the team to Buddy Black in strikeouts with 111. In 1985, he had his first winning season with a 14-10 record in 28 starts. He made one start in two appearances in the 1985 ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays with a 3.24 ERA. However, manager Dick Howser opted to have a four-man starting rotation in the World Series and Gubicza did not appear. Gubicza continued to improve as a starter. In 1986, he went 12-6, striking out 118. He led the American League with the fewest home runs given up by a starting pitcher.

In 1987, his workload increased to starting 35 games, pitching 10 complete games, and striking out 166 in 241 2/3 innings. His best year came in 1988 when he became only the fourth pitcher to win 20 games in a season (Bret Saberhagen would repeat the feat in 1989). He had an astounding 2.70 ERA with 183 strikeouts. He became one of the top pitchers in the American League during the season and was selected to the 1988 All-Star Game, pitching two scoreless innings. His success continued in 1989, again pitching in the All-Star game, earning a 3.04 ERA with a league-leading 36 starts.

The next three years became tough for Gubicza due to injuries. Gubicza had pitched more innings in the previous four years than any other pitcher in the American League. Between 1990 and 1992, Gubicza’s ERA shot up to 4.71 with a record of 20-25. He had surgery in 1991 to repair a torn rotator cuff. To help him recover, Gubicaz was moved to the bullpen in 1993, making only six starts in 49 appearances. In 1994, Gubicza was placed in the starting rotation again, starting 22 games with a 7-9 record in the strike-shortened season. However, in 1995, Gubicza had a comeback year. He was healthy again and became the Royals #2 starter in the rotation. He only had a record of 12-14 due to poor run-support, but his ERA was more reflective of the old-Gubicza at 3.97. Time took its toll on Gubicza in 1996, only pitching in 19 games with a 4-12 record.

He was traded at the end of the season to the Anaheim Angels, along with Mike Bovee, in exchange for designated hitter Chili Davis. Gubicza is second all-time, behind Paul Splittorff, in innings pitched with 2,218 2/3. His career ERA was 3.91. He pitched 42 complete games with the Royals with 16 shutouts. He is third all-time in wins for the Royals with 132. He was one of the best fielding pitchers in baseball, four times having the best fielding percentage of an American League starter. In 1988, he finished third in the Cy Young Award voting behind Oakland’s Dennis Eckersley and Minnesota’s Frank Viola. In 2006, Gubicza became the eighth Kansas City pitcher to be inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame.

RANK #8 – DENNIS LEONARD (#22) – Starting Pitcher (1974-1986)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 4,646.57
96th Royals Player in Franchise History

Dennis Leonard was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1972. He made his major league debut on September 4, 1974 and would play his entire career in Kansas City. In his rookie season of 1975, Leonard had the third best win-loss record in the American League at 15-7 He started 30 games and had a 3.77 ERA. In 1976, Leonard led the team in wins with 17 and pitched 16 complete games. His 150 strikeouts during the season helped the Royals clinch their first-ever playoff berth against the New York Yankees.

Unfortunately, he had an extremely poor showing with only 2 1/3 innings pitched in two starts and gave up five earned runs. In 1977, he became one of the best pitchers in baseball and earned a 20-12 record with a 3.04 ERA. He was second in the league in strikeouts with 244 and fourth in the league in innings pitched with 292 2/3. He was fourth in the Cy Young Award voting for the season. He was a work horse in 1978, leading the league with 40 starts, 20 of which were complete games. His 3.33 ERA was one of the best in the league. For the second straight season, Leonard was a 20-game winner with a record of 21-17. The 1979 season was an off-year for Leonard, pitching only a 4.08 ERA and a 14-12 record. In 1980, Leonard helped lead the Kansas City Royals to their first-ever World Series with his third 20-win season in four years. His ERA of 3.79 and 155 strikeouts made him one of the most feared pitchers in the league.

During the strike-shortened 1981 season, Leonard still managed to pitch over 200 innings and lead the league in innings pitched and games started. By 1982, the volume of innings pitched began to take its toll. He missed all of June and July due to knee injuries. His ERA skyrocketed to 5.10. On May 28, 1983, Leonard went down with a torn patellar tendon. He missed the rest of the season. In 1984, he began pitching again when he had a setback that forced him to miss the entire 1984 season. Leonard spent long days rehabilitating and was finally able to pitch two innings late in 1985, but was unable to play in the playoffs that season. Leonard finally made his comeback in 1986. He started 30 games, had an 8-13 record and a 4.44 ERA.

For his efforts in the comeback, Leonard was given the Hutch Award in 1986. He retired at the end of the season. Leonard holds the record for the most complete games in Royals history with 103 and shutouts with 23. He is third all-time in innings pitched with 2,187 and second only to Paul Splittorff in wins with 144. He is the only three-time 20-game winner in Royals history. Dennis Leonard was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1989.

RANK #7 – JEFF MONTGOMERY (#21) – Closing Pitcher (1988-1999)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 4,692.33
258th Royals Player in Franchise History

Jeff Montgomery was traded to the Kansas City Royals by the Cincinnati Reds for a minor league player in 1988. Montgomery was made a middle relief pitcher behind closer Steve Farr. He posted a 7-2 record, six holds and one save in his first season. His pitching abilities were recognized and he started to share the closing duties with Farr and posted 13 holds and 18 saves during the 1989 season with an amazing 1.37 ERA. Farr left the Royals after the season and Montgomery would take over the full-time duty of closer for the Royals.

He made a career-high 73 appearances in relief with 24 saves in 94 1/3 innings pitched. On April 29, 1990, Montgomery became only the 23rd pitcher in major league history to strike out three batters in an inning on nine pitches during the eighth inning against the Texas Rangers. He was also known as a very good fielding pitcher during this period, having no errors. He continued to improve as a closing pitcher. He had 33 saves in 1991 and 39 in 1992. His ERA was 2.55 during this period with 72 saves. He was selected to pitch in the 1992 All-Star Game in San Diego. The 1993 proved to be the best of his career. He tied a club record of 45 saves in a season and tied for first in saves in the American League. He had a 2.27 ERA, 66 strikeouts in 69 appearances. He was against selected to pitch in an All-Star Game and was the 1993 American League Rolaids Relief Awards winner.

His performance began to diminish over the next three seasons. His ERA during this period rose to 3.89 and he averaged only 27 saves a season. He showed some improvement in 1996 when his innings per game were shortened to just one inning of relief per game and his ERA dropped to 3.49. He was honored by being selected to his third All-Star Game, but he did not pitch. In 1998, despite having a 4.98 ERA, Montgomery posted 36 saves for the season, sixth in the American League. His age was really taking its toll in his final season. He started sharing closing duties with Scott Service. His ERA shot up to a lofty 6.84 and he decided to retire. Montgomery pitched in more games than any other Royals pitcher in history with 686 appearances. He is the all-time saves leader for the Royals with 304 in 543 game finishes. Despite having a win-loss record of 44-50, his ERA of 3.20 is one of the best in Royals history. In 2003, Montgomery was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame.

RANK #6 – WILLIE WILSON (#6) – Center Field (1976-1990)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 5,277.45
112th Royals Player in Franchise History

Willie Wilson was a first-round draft choice of the Kansas City Royals in 1974. He made his major league debut on September 4, 1976. Between 1976 and 1977, Wilson only made 25 appearances late in the season, primarily as a pinch runner. By 1978, Wilson was ready to be the opening day leadoff batter in left field for the Royals, behind the leadership of veteran center fielder Amos Otis. He started the 1978 season hot, posting a .291 batting average by the end of April. The rest of the season was a free fall for Wilson, finishing with a .217 batting average with 46 stolen bases. He made three appearances in the 1978 ALCS against the New York Yankees. In 1979, Wilson had an amazing season with a .315 batting average. On June 9, 1979, Wilson became the first Royals player to hit two home runs in a game from both sides of the plate against the Milwaukee Brewers.

He stole multiple bases in 16 games and finished first in the major leagues with 83 steals during the season. He led the American League with 148 singles and a 87.37% stolen base average. He became known as the fastest man in baseball. In 1980, Amos Otis began the season on the disabled list and Willie Wilson started in center field before moving back to left field at the end of May. Wilson played in 77 games with five or more at bats and finished the season with a major league record 705 at bats out of 745 plate appearances.

On September 18, 1980, Wilson stole second and third base in the same game and set the American League record, at the time, of 28 consecutive stolen bases without being caught. He hit .326 and led the American league with 230 hits, 133 runs scored and 15 triples. He hit a solid .308 in the ALCS against the Yankees, but fell flat in the World Series with a .154 average. For his regular season efforts, Wilson won a Gold Glove Award and Silver Sluggers Award. His hitting and baserunning continued to be a major asset for the Royals for the next couple of years. In 1982, Wilson won the American League Batting Title by hitting .332 for the season and lead the league in triples with 15. He also won his second Silver Sluggers Award as well as being selected to his first All-Star Game appearance.

His offensive production slipped between 1983 and 1984, but still managed to steal 106 bases during that period. He was also picked to play in the 1983 All-Star Game. On June 29, 1983, Wilson became the full-time center fielder for the Royals with the demotion of Amos Otis. After the 1983 season, Wilson found himself involved in a drug scandal along with Willie Aikens, Jerry Martin and Vida Blue, becoming the first active major league players to serve jail time. The Baseball Commissioner suspended Wilson for the 1984 season, but it was reduced to just a 40 games. Wilson was the only player in the scandal that was not traded or released. In 1985, he was the second-best fielding center fielder behind Cleveland’s Brett Butler. Wilson hit .339 in the postseason with four stolen bases to help the Royals win their first World Series. Wilson continued to play well, leading the league in triples in 1987 and 1988 and batting .270. In 1990, he was the best outfielder in baseball, having played without a single error.

After the 1990 season, Wilson signed with the Oakland Athletics. Wilson had 612 stolen bases in Royals history, placing him 12th in the major leagues since World War II. Wilson is second all-time in triples with 133. He is third in innings played in left field with 4,928 1/3 and second as a center fielder with 9,154 2/3. He has a Royals-record 11 inside-the-park home runs. Wilson was inducted in the the Royals Hall of Fame in 2000.

RANK #5 – FRANK WHITE (#20) – Second Base (1973-1990)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 5,310.25
78th Royals Player in Franchise History

Frank White is one of the greatest second basemen in the modern era of baseball. He was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 1970 and went to play for the short-lived Royals Baseball Academy. He made his major league debut on June 12, 1973 and played his entire 18 seasons in the major leagues with the Kansas City Royals. He broke into the majors primarily as a shortstop, but by 1974 started playing backup second base to Cookie Rojas. In 1975, he continued to play a utility infield role as shortstop and second baseman to the aging Freddie Patek and Cookie Rojas. He hit his first grand slam on June 25, 1975 in the 12th inning while playing the California Angels.

In 1976, White replaced Rojas as the opening day second baseman for the Royals. He quickly became the most unpopular player on the Royals team because Rojas was a fan-favorite. However, it was clear that White was special. He quickly established himself as one of the best defensive second basemen in the major leagues. Despite hitting only .229 in his first season as a starter, White stole 20 bases and hit 46 RBIs. In 1977, White was still only hitting .245, but his defensive skills at second base were excellent. He won the first of his franchise-record eight Gold Gloves at second base. He is currently tied for third all-time in Gold Gloves at second base in baseball history. In 1978, White started to add more power to his offense, hitting .275 with seven home runs. He was picked to his first All-Star game in 1978. In 1979, White continued to improve his offense and was voted a starter at the All-Star Game.

In 1980, he was hitting .264. White was awarded the 1980 ALCS MVP award, hitting .545 in three games against the New York Yankees to help the Royals earn their first trip to the World Series. White hit his second grand slam in 1981 against the Baltimore Orioles. He was picked to be in his third All-Star Game in 1981. He would be picked again to play in the summer classic in 1982 and 1986. In 1982, his batting average was the best of his career at .298 and he continued to dazzle at second base. On August 3, 1984, White hit his third grand slam against the league-leading Detroit Tigers. By 1985, White had become a power-hitting second baseman with 22 home runs in both 1985 and 1986. His defensive skills helped the Kansas City Royals win the World Series in 1985. During the 1985 season, he hit his fourth grand slam against the New York Yankees.

On May 15, 1986, he hit his fifth grand slam against the Cleveland Indians. He won the Silver Slugger Award for second base in 1986. His offensive production began to wane between 1987 and 1989. He was still one of the best defensive second basemen in baseball. By 1990, however, age had caught up with Frank White and he began sharing second base duties with Steve Jeltz and Terry Shumpert. White announced his retirement and his last game was on September 30, 1990 against the Anaheim Angels. White played 17,809 1/3 innings at second base, more than any other Royals player at any single position in the history of the franchise. Frank White was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1995 and his jersey number is retired. In 2009, a bronze statue of White was erected outside Kaufmann Stadium alongside statues of George Brett, Dick Howser and Ewing & Muriel Kaufmann.

RANK #4 – PAUL SPLITTORFF (#34) – Starting Pitcher (1970-1984)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 5,497.49
51st Royals Player in Franchise History

Paul Splittorff was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1968. He made his major league debut on September 23, 1970. After only two appearances in 1970, Splittorff was called up from AAA Omaha in June of 1971 and inserted into the starting rotation. In his first start, Splittorff earned the win against the Washington Senators at home after giving up only one run in 7 2/3 innings pitched. He had three complete game shutouts in his first season and pitched an amazing 2.68 ERA in 22 starts. In 1972, he went 12-12 with a 3.12 ERA. He proved to be the best fielding pitcher in the American League, leading in fielding percentage and fifth in fielding assists.

The next season proved to be his breakout season. His ERA rose to 3.98, but he became the first pitcher in Royals history to have a 20 wins. He also had a career-high 140 strikeouts in the season. He was named the 1974 opening day starter for the Royals, but he had a reversal of fortune when he only went 13-19 on the year with a 4.10 ERA. Splittorff continued to struggle into 1975 with an ERA of nearly 5.00 before he was demoted to the bullpen. After Royals manager Jack McKeon was fired, new manager Whitey Herzog gave Splittorff a second chance in the rotation. In his second start for Herzog, Splittorff pitched a complete game shutout of the World Champion Oakland Athletics 5-0, retiring 23 batters in a row. His dramatic turnaround late in the season of 1975 dropped his ERA back down to 3.17 for the season.

In 1976, Splittorff struggled early, but bounced back by mid-season. He missed the month of August due to a finger injury, but returned just in time to help the Royals win their first playoff berth against the New York Yankees. He went 1-0 in two starts against the Yankees in the playoffs with a 1.93 ERA. The next two seasons, Splittorff pitched with great composure and effectiveness. He was picked to start Game One of the 1977 ALCS against the Yankees. As a left-handed pitcher, he gave the New York left-handers a lot of trouble. So much so that the Yankees benched Reggie Jackson in the game Splittorff pitched. In 1978, he won 19 games and place seventh in the Cy Young balloting. His 1979 season was a down year for Splittorff and he only pitched a 15-17 record for the season.

There was slight improvement in 1980 for Splittorff and he helped lead the Royals to their first-ever World Series. However, manager Jim Frey removed him from the starting rotation and Splittorff only made one appearance in relief against the Philadelphia Phillies. On May 23, 1981, Splittorff pitched 11 innings of shutout baseball against the Minnesota Twins. The Royals eventually won the game 1-0 in 15 innings. In 1982 and 1983, Splittorff developed back problems and his form began to falter. By 1984, he was demoted to the bullpen and, after pitching in only 12 games, announced his retirement at the end of June. Paul Splittorff pitched more wins than any other Kansas City pitcher in franchise history with 166. He had a career 3.81 ERA. Both his 88 complete games and 17 shutouts are second in Royals history only to Dennis Leonard. He pitched more innings than any other player in Royals history with 2,554 2/3 and faced 10,829 batters. Splittorff proved to be an excellent fielding pitcher for the Royals with a team-record 37 pickoffs and only 15 errors. Splittorff played his entire major league career for the Kansas City Royals and was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1987.

RANK #3 – HAL MCRAE (#11) – Designated Hitter (1973-1987)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 5,636.94
72nd Royals Player in Franchise History

Hal McRae is one of the greatest designated hitters in baseball history. McRae was traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Kansas City Royals for Roger Nelson and Richie Scheinblum in 1972. His career with the Royals began as a right fielder for about 60% of his games. He struggled in his first season with the Royals, only hitting .234 with nine home runs. In 1974, McRae’s playing greatly improved. He played 90 games as a DH and the rest of the time platooning in the outfield. His batting average shot up to .310 with 15 home runs and 88 RBIs. McRae’s batting average was third in the league. On September 26, 1974, McRae hit his first grand slam against the California Angels. In 1975, the Royals acquired future Hall-of-Fame player Harmon Killebrew and McRae was moved to left field for the majority of the season while Killebrew took the role of designated hitter.

He was selected to play left field in the 1975 All-Star Game. The 1976 season was one of his finest seasons. McRae led the league in on-base percentage with .407. He had a 175 hits and was selected to the All-Star Game again. However, the entire baseball world was watching his race for the batting title with fellow teammate George Brett. In the final weeks of the season, Brett would win out by less than .001 percent. He finished the season with a .332 batting average, 22 stolen bases and helped the Royals to their first-ever postseason appearance. He also finished fourth in the American League MVP voting. McRae played every single game in 1977 and led the league in doubles with 54. He was known as the most aggressive base runner in baseball in the 1970s. McRae homered in the 1977 ALCS against the New York Yankees in Game 1. In 1978, he became a full-time DH for the Royals.

He was second in the league in doubles with 39 and led the team in hits with 170. He missed most of June and all of July with an injury in 1979, but continued to hit well for Kansas City. In 1980, his .297 batting average and 14 home runs helped the Royals to the World Series. He was the only member of the Royals with World Series experience, having been in the 1970 and 1972 Series’ with the Cincinnati Reds. He hit .375 against the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1980 World Series and had a lot of playing time because it was a DH year for the Series. He continued as DH through to the 1982 season, when he was selected to the All-Star Game. On July 6, 1982, he hit his second grand slam off John Tudor of the Boston Red Sox. He led the league with 158 games as DH and won the 1982 Silver Slugger Award for the position. He also led the league in doubles with 46 and RBIs with 133.

Between 1982 and 1983, McRae continued his tear with a .311 batting average and 41 doubles. Between 1984 and 1986, the Royals made a decision to platoon the DH position between McRae and Jorge Orta. It became one of the greatest hitting DH-duos in baseball history. McRae helped lead the Royals to their second World Series in 1985, but was prevented from playing very much because the it was not a DH year. In 1987, McRae’s role on the team was reduced to pinch hitter. Still hitting .313, McRae decided it was time to retire and he played his last game on July 17, 1987. McRae is the all-time leader in plate appearances as DH with 5,917. He had a career .293 batting average with the Royals and second only to George Brett in doubles. He hit 169 home runs while in Kansas City. He won the Outstanding Designated Hitter Award in 1976, 1980 and 1982. McRae went on to become Royals manager and was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1989.

RANK #2 – AMOS OTIS (#26) – Center Field (1970-1983)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 6,124.43
40th Royals Player in Franchise History

Amos Otis was part of the first great trade in Royals history. He was traded by the New York Mets to the Kansas City Royals, along with Bob Johnson, in exchange for third baseman Joe Foy. Otis was the opening day center fielder for the Royals in 1970. He became the most productive offensive player for the young Kansas City Royals team. He hit .284 with 33 stolen bases and 11 home runs in his first season.

He led the American league in doubles with 36 and was third in triples with nine. He had the best stolen base percentage in the league. He reached base by walk or by hit 136 out of 159 games he played in 1970. He was the first Royals player to actually play in the All-Star Game in 1970. His throw in the 12th inning of the All-Star Game to catcher Ray Fosse is one of the most memorable moments in All-Star Game history as he was trying to throw out Pete Rose. In 1971, fielding abilities earned him the first of three Gold Gloves for center field. He was selected yet again to play in the All-Star Game.

He led the American League stolen bases with 52, hit a season .301 batting average and drove in 15 home runs. His 52 stolen bases out of 60 attempts set a major league percentage record for the time. On September 7, 1971, Otis stole five bases against the Milwaukee Brewers, one shy of the major league record for a nine-inning game. Otis would be in the top ten players in the American League in batting average, runs scored, and stolen bases between 1971 and 1973. He scored the last-ever Royals run in the old Municipal Stadium in 1972. In 1973, he led the team, along with John Mayberry, in home runs with 26.

He had the first-ever hit by a Royals player in the new Royals stadium. Otis had a bit of a slump due to injuries in 1975, batting only .247 with nine home runs. However, he still managed to steal 39 bases and set the major league record for the most steals in two consecutive games with seven between April 30 and May 1. But in 1976, he came alive again with a .279 batting average and leading the American League in doubles with 40. He helped lead the team to its first-ever playoff berth. Fans would chant “Ayyyyyy – Ohhhhhh …. Ayyyyyy – Ohhhhhh” whenever he came up to bat or was in the outfield. Otis severely injured his ankle in the first game of the post-season and was forced to miss the rest of the series. In the offseason, the Royals wanted to trade Otis and Cookie Rojas to the Pittsburgh Pirates, but he vetoed the decision due to the “10 and 5 Rule”. In 1978 and 1979, Otis was the top center fielders in the game. On April 18, 1978, Otis hit his first grand slam against the Toronto Blue Jays. In 1980, he helped lead the Kansas City Royals to their first-ever World Series.

Against Philadelphia, Otis hit .478 with three home runs. However, by the 1980s, Otis’ speed waned and he played a little less in the outfield. On April 9, 1982, Otis hit his second grand slam off of Detroit Tigers pitcher Jack Morris. By 1983, Otis became a backup outfielder to Willie Wilson in center field and split time in right field with Pat Sheridan. Finally, after the 1983 season, Otis was released by the Royals and he went on to play one more season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Otis played 15,478 innings in center field, more than any other player in any single position in Royals history other than Frank White at second base and George Brett at third base. He is third all-time in hits by a Royals player with 1,977. Otis is second all-time in runs scored, fourth in doubles, third in triples, third in home runs, and second in stolen bases. Otis had five inside-the-park home runs. In 1986, Amos Otis and Steve Busby were the first two Royals players inducted into the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame.

…and finally, the #1 player in Kansas City Royals history (as if there was any question):

RANK #1 – GEORGE BRETT (#5) – Third Base (1973-1993)
PERFORMANCE INDEX: 9,437.76
83rd Royals Player in Franchise History

Of course… was there any doubt? George Brett is the greatest baseball player in Kansas City history and one of the greatest in the history of baseball. Brett played his entire 21 year career with the Kansas City Royals. He was selected in the second round of the 1971 draft. Brett made his major league debut on August 2, 1973. By 1974, Brett would replace Paul Schaal as the everyday third baseman. In his first full season, Brett did well, hitting .282 with only two home runs and 47 RBIs. By the 1975 season, Brett established himself as one of the best third basemen in the game. In 1976, won his first batting title by a razor-thin margin over teammate Hal McRae, hitting .333.

During the season, Brett set a major league record by having at least three hits in six consecutive games between May 8 and May 13. His last hit of the season that gave him the title was an inside-the-park home run. He would become the only major league player to win the batting title in three different decades. His second was in 1980 and his third was in 1990. Brett was selected to 13 All-Star games, nine of which he was a starter at third base. In 1980, he became the closest baseball player to hit .400 since Ted Williams did it in 1941. As part of his march toward .400, Brett went on a 30-game hitting streak that lasted from July 18 to August 19.

Brett was a patient batter who had a career 1,096 walks with 908 strikeouts. He holds the team record for intentional walks with 229, leading the league in the category twice. Brett hit .337 in his postseason career and was a .292 hitter in his all-star game appearances. Brett won the American League MVP and Hutch Awards in 1980, was named the 1985 ALCS MVP and came in second in the AL MVP Award in 1976 and in 1985. Brett won the Silver Sluggers Award for third base in 1980 and 1985 and won the award for first base in 1988. Brett won his only Gold Glove Award in 1985 for third base.

Brett entered baseball lore due to an incident on July 24, 1983 at Yankee Stadium when he hit a home run in the top of the ninth inning, only to be called out because it was ruled that he used too much pine tar on the bat. The “Pine Tar Incident” is now legendary in baseball history. He helped lead the Royals to their first World Series Championship in 1985. In 1986, Brett won the coveted Lou Gehrig Memorial Award for character and integrity on and off the field. In 1988, Brett made a dramatic move by leaving third base to play at first to make room for the rookie Kevin Seitzer. In 1991, Brett abandoned first base to play most of his time at DH.

His last hit of the game off of pitcher Tim Fortugno was the 3,000th of his career. His final at bat on October 3, 1993 was a single to center field. He was later driven in by a home run by fellow teammate Gary Gaetti which helped the Royals defeat the Texas Rangers. George Brett had 2,044 hits as a third baseman, the second-most in major league history next to Wade Boggs. He hit a total of 3,154 hits, and is ranked 16th all-time. In 1994, he was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame and his jersey #5 was retire. In 1999, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York by the fifth highest vote margin in history. He is sixth in major league history with 665 doubles, trailing only Tris Speaker, Peter Rose, Stan Musial, Ty Cobb and Craig Biggio. Only three other players in history, Stan Musial, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, accumulated 3,000 hits, 300 home runs and had a career .300 batting average. A statue of Brett is displayed outside Kaufmann Stadium to honor him and his accomplishments. Brett is the face and spirit of the Kansas City Royals. -RANKINGS 16-30

Tavish Whiting is an American Government teacher in Lee's Summit, MO